ODOT to invest funds in region


Northwest Ohio will benefit from half of the state’s boost to roadway funding, which was nearly doubled
this year.
The Ohio Department of Transportation is planning a busy construction season after the turnpike
commission announced $930 million in September for ODOT projects, funded through the sale of bonds
against future toll revenue. Overall, it will fund $3 billion in projects over six years.
ODOT’s second district was awarded seven of the 14 projects approved, totaling $473 million, of which
$411 million is from turnpike bonds, said Todd Audet, deputy director of district two. He said this
summer’s statewide plan is the biggest yet at $2.5 billion.
Audet and other ODOT representatives provided a detailed update on the year’s plans to Wood County
commissioners on Tuesday.
Additional funding allowed many projects to be pushed up on the schedule, avoiding decades of delays in
some cases. Priority was given to projects that would facilitate commerce and job creation.
The widening of Interstate 75 to three lanes, set to begin this summer, will have the most noticeable
impact on the region and take about three years to complete.
That project was not scheduled until 2027.
Also on tap is a new bridge and interchange between Interstate 475 and I-75 in Perrysburg just east of
Ohio 25. Restructuring the lanes will mean drivers from northbound I-75 who want to exit the highway at
Ohio 25 won’t need to quickly cross two lanes of I-475.
There have been several recent crashes and shut-downs in that area that resulted in delays and closures.

"That’s kind of nasty at times," said commissioner Jim Carter said of the way traffic is
Other Wood County projects for 2014 include resurfacing of U.S. 6 from Township Road 133 to Ohio 199;
Ohio 18 in North Baltimore to the Hancock County line; and Ohio 65 from Waterville to Perrysburg.
In addition to the road funds, the state is pouring money into local bridge projects. Ohio will spend
$120 million over three years to repair or replace about 200 county and city bridges.
Eighteen of the 25 bridges to be replaced in ODOT’s second district are in Wood County.
"The county that benefitted the most happened to be Wood County," Audet said. "It’s an
awesome opportunity."

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