You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Clark officials want $5.9M for widening

State says it doesn’t want to waste money, but must keep I-70 in good condition.


Nearly $18 million has been set aside to maintain Interstate 70, but local officials want about a third of that to be used toward widening the remaining portion of the highway to six lanes.

Plans to widen I-70 from Enon Road to Ohio 72 have been shelved until 2036 due to tight state transportation budgets.

And while local transportation officials are working to get the widening project funded sooner, the delay could mean that planned paving and rehab work along the roadway and bridges in that stretch would have to be redone.

“It’s my hope that they would be able to fund the widening project before they have to spend the money on resurfacing and rehabilitating this section because it amounts to a significant cost savings,” said Scott Schmid, Clark County-Springfield Transportation Coordinating Committee director.

“Basically, if you go back and add the lanes five years, 10 years down the road, now you’re going to have to tear up all the pavement that you just placed down during these rehab projects and replace it all again,” he said. “So you’re spending the money twice. And depending on when we get the add lane, it could be relatively soon after they go out and rehab it and that would be unfortunate.”

Ohio Department of Transportation District 7 will get $8.3 million to pave I-70 and a portion of Interstate 675 from the Montgomery County line to Route 4 later this year; $3.7 million will be used to repair three bridges over the highway from Enon Road to U.S. 68 in 2015; and $5.9 million has been approved to pave I-70 between Enon Road to Ohio 72 in 2016.

Officials have also received $1.1 million to purchase right of way along the highway to make way for the widening project.

ODOT District 7 officials has tried for years to get funding to widen I-70 to six lanes in both directions from Enon Road to Ohio 72.

It will submit two new applications to the state Transportation Review Advisory Council board by May 3 in hopes of getting money for construction before 2036.

The first phase of the project is expected to cost $17.6 million and involves adding a lane from Enon Road to U.S. 68.

The second phase of the project to widen the highway between U.S. 68 and Ohio 72 will likely cost about $42.5 million.

ODOT District 7 Planning and Engineering Administrator Matt Parrill said repairs on the three bridges over the highway must be done in 2015.

However, Parrill said officials are trying to delay paving I-70 between Enon Road to Ohio 72 until at least 2016 so they can put that $5.9 million toward the widening project. But he said if road conditions deteriorate, the state might not have that option.

“We have to pursue the widening job and pay attention to the condition of the pavement. If (the road) gets below the pavement condition rating, we will probably have to move forward. But the hope is always that we’ll get the widening money,” Parrill said.

The state already delayed paving the 7.68-mile section in 2012, Parrill said, and are hoping road conditions hold up until they get funding for the widening project.

“Our best guess is that by 2016 we will have to do something … We’re at a point where we are watching the road on an annual basis,” he said.

Parrill said officials cannot wait on the repaving for 10 years or longer in order to get money for the widening project.

“We’re going to do our best not to do any throw away work or any wasted work,” Parrill said. “… But if we have to do that to take care of the (roadway) will just have to do it.”

Parrill along with Springfield Planning and Zoning Administrator Bryan Heck and other area leaders traveled to Columbus last year and told TRAC board that the widening project needs to be funded as soon as possible.

While Heck noted that widening the highway would decrease congestion and improve safety for motorists, he also said the project is critical to the region and the entire state, including for economic development.

Heck on Thursday said the city continues to push for funding for the widening project, but added supporters don’t expect ODOT to neglect highway road conditions while waiting for the state to approve I-70 construction money.

“We need continued upkeep and maintenance of our roads. The widening project is a separate issue. Hopefully, we get funding before 2036, not only for the benefit of Springfield and Clark County, but for the state of Ohio,” Heck said.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in News

3-year-old Georgia girl snatches skull cap from Pope Francis’ head 
3-year-old Georgia girl snatches skull cap from Pope Francis’ head 

  He went in for a kiss and she went for his hat! A little girl from Douglasville, Georgia, had the encounter of a lifetime with Pope Francis at the Vatican. The girl and her family had been waiting hours in hopes of catching a glimpse of the pope, when he arrived nearby and reached out to kiss the 3-year-old girl named Estella. Francis kissed...
American killed in London terror attack was celebrating 25th wedding anniversary
American killed in London terror attack was celebrating 25th wedding anniversary

An American tourist was among four people who were killed when a man plowed through several people on London’s Westminster Bridge on Wednesday before attacking a police officer who was guarding Parliament. The terror attack claimed the life of Utah resident Kurt W. Cochran, family members said in a statement. Cochran was visiting London with...
Family hopes new posters will lead to tips in Pike County slayings
Family hopes new posters will lead to tips in Pike County slayings

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio -- Relatives of eight people slain in southern Ohio last year are distributing posters with photos of the victims in hopes of turning up local tips about the unsolved case.  Seven adults and a teenage boy from the Rhoden family were found shot at four homes near Piketon on April 22. The Columbus Dispatch reports the state helped...
Criminal charges for overdoses in Clark County: 5 things to know
Criminal charges for overdoses in Clark County: 5 things to know

Clark County prosecutors will begin using the Good Samaritan Law to charge people criminally who overdose and don’t seek treatment screenings and referrals after they’ve been revived. Here’s five things to know about the law: 1. Background: In September 2016, Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed House Bill 110, more commonly known as...
Health care insurance vote: What time is the vote; what does the bill do; who is voting against it?
Health care insurance vote: What time is the vote; what does the bill do; who is voting against it?

The Republican bill that is set to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is scheduled for a vote Thursday, as President Donald Trump and leaders in the House scramble to secure enough support for the measure to pass. The American Health Care Act could be dead on arrival at the House, however, as a number of Republican lawmakers are saying they...
More Stories