News

MORPC Supports Federal Investment for Rickenbacker Project

February 17, 2017 

MORPC Executive Director William Murdock and President and CEO of the Columbus Regional Airport Authority (CRAA) Elaine Roberts joined U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown at a press conference in support of federal funding for the proposed Rickenbacker Inland Port Interstate Connector project.

CRAA submitted the Rickenbacker Inland Port Interstate Connector project last year to the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) for Fostering Advancements in Shipping and Transportation for the Long-Term Achievement of National Efficiencies (FASTLANE) grant funding. The project would expand Alum Creek Drive by adding an additional lane in each direction to relieve traffic congestion issues due to heavy activity between the Rickenbacker Inland Port, a multi-modal logistics hub, Rickenbacker International Airport, and local businesses.

“Over $28 million in improvements to the Alum Creek Drive corridor are critical to maintain our competitive advantage, attract more jobs, and ensure economic growth,” Murdock said. “This investment will also relieve and prevent congestion making this a safer corridor at the same time.”

The proposed project would also improve access to commercial businesses like Amazon and for facilities like the new Rickenbacker International Airport air cargo terminal. With increasing demand from companies sending products to and from the Central Ohio region, this project would encourage further growth in the area.

The findings of insight2050, a collaborative initiative among public and private partners designed to help communities proactively plan for development and population growth over the next 30+ years, tell us that Central Ohio will likely grow by up to one million people by 2050. MORPC staff are studying the effects of regional growth on the Rickenbacker area because growth will place increased demand on transportation and other essential services like water and utilities.

“Together with CRAA and over a dozen communities and partners, our Rickenbacker Area Study recognizes that the biggest challenge is providing the infrastructure we need to be a leading region,” Murdock said. “This means we need adequate funding for infrastructure at the federal level.”

Brown and his Democratic colleagues in the Senate have drafted a proposal that aims to start a conversation and find common ground with the administration. President Trump proposed a $1 trillion infrastructure investment during the campaign last year. Brown’s proposal outlines how a $1 trillion package of infrastructure investment delivered over the next decade would improve the nation’s transportation, water, housing, broadband, and community infrastructure while creating thousands of construction and manufacturing jobs.