Next Phase of Interstate 70/71 Construction Delayed Until 2018
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/.