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Next Phase of Interstate 70/71 Construction Delayed Until 2018

Walker Evans Walker Evans Next Phase of Interstate 70/71 Construction Delayed Until 2018Rendering via ODOT.
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The next phase of the multi-part Interstate 70/71 “Columbus Crossroads” construction project has officially been pushed back another year to 2018, according to officials at the Ohio Department of Transportation. This phase, known as the “Project 2D — East Interchange” includes the highway intersection where I-71 and I-70 meet on the southeast side of Downtown near Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

“Unfortunately, the east intersection of the project has been delayed for a year due to lack of funding,” stated ODOT Project Manager Leslie Montgomery. “Currently we are working on an update to be mailed to stakeholders and added to our website.”

To date, ODOT has completed Phase 1 of the Columbus Crossroads project, which included the highway interchange at I-71 and I-670 on the northeast corner of Downtown, as well as three smaller pieces of Phase 2, including the Africentric School retaining wall, the Mound Street Connector, and the 18th Street Bridge. Montgomery said that the remainder of Phase 2 may continue to be broken up into smaller projects in the future.

“Every year beginning in October and ending in late January, the Transportation Review Advisory Committee (TRAC) looks at funding for major new projects and prioritizes them according to funding and assigns funding years based on funding projections,” she stated. “We are considering developing smaller pieces of projects to break off and be ready to advance during the next TRAC evaluation in case the funding of 2D is deferred again.”

Future portions of the project will continue rebuilding remaining portions of I-70 and I-71 throughout the entire “split” area in Downtown Columbus, which includes highway caps planned for High Street and Third Street rebuilding connections to German Village. Those phases are currently scheduled to take place through at least 2023, unless they are also further delayed. The 2D portion of the project is estimated to cost $166 million, with the entirety of the Columbus Crossroads project totaling just over $1.1 billion.

More information is expected to be online soon at www.dot.state.oh.us/projects/7071/.

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  • Zyro

    I can’t tell if this is going to make things worse or better, but I’m betting on the former. But hey, at least we’ll have two more highway caps! (aka: band-aids). But man, no outrage here over the 1.1 billion dollars needed to facilitate car and sprawl culture? If this were a $400 streetcar or LRT project? There would be protesters outside city hall and election campaigns run on getting rid of it. We let this happen. No eye-batting required.

    • Zyro

      *$400 million streetcar or LRT. Not, $400, haha (I wish). Sorry!

      • Callidus

        People need to understand sprawl and what it does. So at least if you’re informing people, that helps.

    • GigglesSupreme

      Agreed. I love spending astronomical amounts of money of projects that are inefficient and will make my commute longer.

    • JRemy

      I agree with your assessment zyro. It’s insane that we will spend this much money and no one, but us, bats an eye. I can’t believe we started this and we can’t even afford it. By the time it is finished, should it ever finish, it may well be obsolete and cost a lot more than $1.1 Billion.

  • DouginCMH

    Yes. God forbid we “subsidize” modern public transportation when we spend billions of public dollars annually on the highway infrastructure’s transportation industrial complex.

  • matt.gobucks

    I like how they use the term “no funding” available. Yet they found the funding to rebuild I-270 & US 33 interchange in Dublin ($68 million) and I-270 / US 23 / OH315 in Worthington/Dublin ($143 million) for a total of $211 million; when the cost to finish Phases 2D & 3 would have cost a total of $194 million. And both of those projects started AFTER the completion of the first phase which to me meant ODOT should have kept rolling to fix the downtown interchanges first instead of running off to the suburbs. It’s not so much about funding as it is about spending money on the suburbs and not the inner city where ODOT’s own traffic studies show that I-70/I-71 splits (East & West) are one of the highest traffic accident sites in the state.

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