(Cleveland) - Governor John Kasich has unveiled a robust plan for improving Ohio’s transportation system with a $3 billion investment in infrastructure over the next several years.
Kasich’s Jobs and Transportation plan will allow the state to eliminate decades long delays on some 41 new construction projects now slated to begin construction as soon as next year in some cases.
Cleveland’s Opportunity Corridor – a project that will construct a new boulevard from I-490 into the heart of the city’s University Circle business district – will see a 13-year delay wiped out.
“By thinking outside the box we’re attacking Ohio’s highway budget deficit without a tax increase and keeping Ohio’s highways in top condition,” Kasich said. “Our agriculture, manufacturing and logistics industries, as well as so many others, depend on our world class highway system for their success and the $3 billion in new funds made possible from our plan keeps them moving so Ohio’s economic recovery can keep moving.”
Kasich’s plan uses money from the Ohio Turnpike to help build Cleveland’s $324 million Opportunity Corridor and second $340 million Innerbelt Bridge.
Kasich talked to Newsradio WTAM 1100's Darren Toms:
Other northeast Ohio projects getting Kasich’s green light include:
• Two projects to widen I-271 in Cuyahoga and Summit Counties ($131million and $62.5 million, 12-year delay eliminated)
• Adding lanes to I-80 through Mahoning and Trumbull counties ($116.7 million, 12-year delay eliminated)
• Widening U.S. Route 20 in Lorain County ($48.7 million, 10-year delay eliminated)
• Adding lanes to U.S. Route 42 in Medina County ($47 million, will remain on schedule)
• Reconstructing portions of I-76 and I-77 in Summit County ($96.4 million, 11-year delay eliminated)
Kasich’s recommendations await a vote by the state’s independent Transportation Review Advisory Council (TRAC) which is slated for Thursday, July 25. The TRAC was established in 1997 to provide guidance to the state for reviewing and approving ODOT’s largest construction projects.
Some funds for the Jobs and Transportation plan were made possible by a plan to issue bonds backed by Turnpike toll revenue dedicated exclusively to northern Ohio. The plan helps fill ODOT’s budget deficit without raising taxes that would kill jobs.
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