MORPC Seeks Public Input on TRAC Projects
The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission is seeking comments on projects for which funding is being requested from the Transportation Review Advisory Council (TRAC) of the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT).
TRAC assists in developing a selection process for ODOT’s largest transportation project investments, funded through the Major New Capacity Program. These are projects that have a total project cost more than $12 million, add transportation capacity, and are critical to the mobility, economic development, and quality of life of Ohio residents. The 2022 application period closed at the end of May, with six projects from the MORPC Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) region submitting applications for funding. Final funding decisions by TRAC are expected in December.
As part of the selection process, ODOT requests that MPOs like MORPC provide local input by prioritizing the applications for projects that fall within the agency’s transportation planning boundaries. This process includes analyzing each project with how it aligns with the region’s transportation and development goals as detailed in the Metropolitan Transportation Plan. The public is also invited to provide feedback on each application to better understand local perspectives.
Applications for projects located within MORPC’s metropolitan planning organization area include:
US 33 & Pickerington Road Interchange
This project will replace the existing, at-grade intersection of US 33 and Pickerington Road with an interchange facility and connecting service roads. The scope of the project also includes removal of an at-grade rail crossing and four other at-grade access points along US 33. ODOT District 6 is requesting $0.5 million for detailed design in fiscal year 2023, $12 million for right-of-way acquisition in fiscal year 2023, and $47 million for construction in fiscal year 2025.
US 33 Southeast Corridor (I-270 to Fairfield County)
Under this project, US 33 will be widened from four lanes to six lanes between I-270 and the Fairfield County line. Other work includes improvements at the interchange of I-270/US 33 and replacing two existing, at-grade intersections at US 33/Bixby Road and US 33/Rager Road with a grade-separated interchange at Bixby Road. Rager Road will be removed by converting the intersection to two cul-de-sacs on either side of US 33. ODOT District 6 is requesting $19 million for preliminary engineering in fiscal year 2023, $6 million for detailed design in fiscal year 2025, and $6 million for right-of-way acquisition in fiscal year 2025.
I-270 & I-71 Interchange (North)
This project will widen the I-270 eastbound to I-71 northbound ramp to two lanes using the existing structure. Other improvements will include lane modifications, replaced bridge decks, and other bridge rehabilitations. ODOT District 6 is requesting $2 million for detailed design in fiscal year 2022.
I-70/I-71 Downtown Ramp Up Phase 2D
This phase of the Downtown Ramp Up / Columbus Crossroads vision will rebuild the east interchange of I-70 and I-71 by eliminating weaves, consolidating ramps, and adding capacity. ODOT District 6 is requesting $3 million for detailed design in fiscal year 2023 and $117 million for construction in fiscal year 2025.
I-70/I-71 Downtown Ramp Up Phase 3
Also, a phase of the Downtown Ramp Up / Columbus Crossroads program, this project will reconstruct I-71 between Main St. and Broad St. The new Lester Dr. (southbound) and Elijah Pierce Ave. (northbound) urban avenues will be constructed adjacent to I-71. The Town and Oak St. bridge over I-71 will also be replaced. ODOT District 6 is requesting $2 million for detailed design in fiscal year 2023 and $70 million for construction in fiscal year 2025.
US 23 Corridor Improvements
This project will construct localized improvements within the existing US 23 corridor. It will eliminate existing signals by constructing interchanges and innovative intersections. This includes the construction of an interchange at US 23 and SR 229 and an R-Cut at the Delaware State Park Dr. The project would also include studying solutions for the intersections from Pennsylvania Ave. to Coover Rd. The Delaware County Engineers Office is requesting $15 million for preliminary engineering in fiscal year 2023, $3 million for detailed design in fiscal year 2024, and $1 million for right-of-way in fiscal year 2025.
One-page fact sheets on the projects are available at morpc.org/funding.
The public is encouraged to provide comments or any additional information to help set MORPC’s priorities, including advantages and/or disadvantages of projects. All comments must be submitted by e-mail to email@example.com or in writing to Elliott Lewis, Re: TRAC Public Input, 111 Liberty Street, Suite 100, Columbus, OH 43215. The deadline to submit feedback is 5 p.m. on Friday, August 12, 2022.