The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will hold a public meeting tonight regarding U.S. Route 23.
The Jan. 19 in-person meeting will take place from 6-8 p.m. in the Agricultural Center/Junior Fair Building at the Delaware County Fairgrounds, 236 Pennsylvania Ave., Delaware.
For those individuals unable to attend tonight’s meeting, there will also be a virtual meeting at noon on Jan. 27. ODOT District 6 spokesperson Breanna Badanes said registration is optional, and anyone can view the meeting and participate at publicinput.com/23connect, even without preregistering.
ODOT said that due to public interest, the two additional meetings were added to learn about the project, which seeks to improve travel along U.S. Route 23 from Toledo to Columbus.
“Route 23 Connect is a corridor study to determine the feasibility of creating a free-flow connection between Toledo and Columbus,” ODOT said. “Currently, this corridor experiences congestion, unpredictable travel times, and high crash rates. This study will evaluate multiple large-scale improvements to the U.S. Route 23 corridor between Waldo in Marion County and Interstate 270 in Franklin County, including an upgrade of the existing alignment, and a combination of the existing alignment and new connections to U.S. 33 or I-71.
“These alignments are conceptual only, no detailed alignments have been identified yet. These alternatives will be compared on a variety of metrics, including travel time benefits, safety, impacts, and cost.”
Representatives from ODOT will be on hand during tonight’s meeting to discuss the potential options and field questions and comments from the public.
“The same information will be presented at all meetings,” ODOT’s website said. “A presentation will be given at the start of the meeting.” The information is the same as was given in November 2021.
“For in-person events, all persons in attendance will be required to follow all federal, state, local, or venue policies in effect on the meeting date,” ODOT said. “This includes face covering policies and/or other health-related protocols.”
In other ODOT news, the agency said last week that $4 million is available through the “Safe Routes to School” program. School districts and local governments can apply to receive funding for infrastructure such as crossings, sidewalks, etc.
“Keeping our children safe as they travel to and from school is important,” said Gov. Mike DeWine in a press release. “This program provides adequate resources for necessary bike and pedestrian improvements, so routes between home and school are safe, convenient, and accessible.”
To apply, visit www.transportation.ohio.gov/saferoutes. The deadline to apply is March 4.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.