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Area leaders praise I-75 widening plans PDF Print E-mail
Written by PETER KUEBECK/Sentinel Staff Writer   
Thursday, 01 August 2013 13:05
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Todd Audet, ODOT District 2 deputy director, points to the Ohio Turnpike and Interstate 75 as he opened the media event Thursday. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
ROSSFORD – With the Ohio Turnpike and Interstate 75 as backdrop, local dignitaries lauded an upcoming state plan to widen I-75 to three lanes, starting next spring.
“I don’t think everybody understands the impact of all of this,” said Todd Audet, ODOT District 2 deputy director as he opened the media event Thursday.
“Without funding for transportation, our citizens, commerce and safety will suffer,” he said.
The event was held at the Ohio Turnpike toll facility on Bates Road.
The Jobs and Transportation Plan, initiated by Gov. John Kasich, will undertake more than 41 new projects across the state, amounting to nearly $3 billion and creating a reported 60,000 jobs. Northwest Ohio will be the focus of 10 of these projects, adding up to $495 million.
The I-75 widening, which Audet later said is expected to start in the spring of 2014 and will last three years, will go from Toledo to Findlay and cost $196 million.
The project was originally not slated to start until 2027, but has been moved up 13 years. Two lanes are expected to be kept open on the roadway throughout construction, with most of the work going on in the median.
“2027 is just too long to wait in Northwest Ohio,” said Audet.
As though to punctuate the speakers’ remarks, traffic continually whizzed by on the Turnpike and I-75 throughout the event.
“I-75 is the longest and the busiest intermodal corridor for trucking in the continental United States,” said Wood County Commissioner Jim Carter.
The widening of I-75, he continued, will “better connect Wood County in the global marketplace.”
“We have the great idea, and we have the place to be for intermodal transportation in Wood County.”
After the event, Carter pointed out the high-degree of cooperation that has brought the project about, including work between local municipalities and state agencies.
“It’s team work,” he said.
Peter Craig, terminal superintendent at the CSX Intermodal Terminal in North Baltimore, noted that the new project will allow greater accessibility of their location by trucks, and said that CSX plans to expand the site by one-third.
Toledo Mayor Mike Bell emphasized the dollars and cents of the issue. Pointing to the bustling roadways nearby, he said “That’s cash, that’s money, that’s our economy right there.”
“I applaud the governor stepping up, and coming up with a creative way” to support infrastructure, he said.
“This is a real great day.”
Last Updated on Thursday, 01 August 2013 16:28
 

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