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I-75 widening sped up PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff   
Monday, 22 July 2013 14:07
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Traffic along I-75 near Bowling Green. (Photo: Shane Hughes/Sentinel-Tribune)
A $195 million plan to widen Interstate 75 throughout Wood County will move forward more than 13 years sooner than previously scheduled, a move praised by local officials who pushed for it in the past.
A third lane will be constructed on the highway beginning in 2014, part of a $3 billion investment of Ohio Turnpike funds into the state's transportation system, Gov. John Kasich announced Monday. A total of $494 million will be spent on 10 projects in northwest Ohio, including work on I-75 from Findlay to Toledo.
Wood County Commissioner Jim Carter said commissioners in Wood and Lucas counties lobbied unsuccessfully to have the project addressed in years past, but he expressed optimism that the effort drew attention to the matter which spurred Monday's proposal.
"I'm glad to know Wood and Lucas counties were the leaders in getting this brought to the forefront," Carter said.
Commissioner Joel Kuhlman agreed, calling the announcement "a reaffirmation of the commitment local government has made" to developing the area and making it friendly for both businesses and families.
Wade Gottschalk, executive director of Wood County Economic Development Commission, said the widening of the highway should have a significant impact on the economy. Alleviating traffic concerns to lower travel time could make the area more attractive to prospective businesses, not to mention the construction funds that will be spent here.
"I think it shows great foresight by our commissioners to push for this project," Gottschalk said. "Hopefully it turns out to be a big success. I'd imagine it will."
Carter those looking to transport goods north and south will look at I-75 as the way to travel.
"I'm sure all of Wood County and all of northern Ohio will benefit from this," he said.
The proposals must be approved by the state's independent Transportation Review Advisory Council, which is scheduled to meet Thursday, according to a news release.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 July 2013 09:36
 

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