DeWine visits Clark County, celebrates $50 million reconstruction of I-70

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Gov. Mike DeWine was in Clark County Tuesday as he joined other state and local officials in celebrating a four-year, $50 million reconstruction of a section of Interstate 70.

“Ohio is a state that makes and moves things. As our economy continues to grow, this additional capacity will help us meet the demands of today and the future,” said DeWine. “At the same time, we’re making this stretch of interstate safer by reducing the pinch points that can often lead to congestion and crashes.”

The project included adding a third lane in each direction on a section of the interstate that is situated between U.S. Route 68 and State Route 72. Before the project was completed, that stretch of road represented the last interstate with two lanes in each direction remaining between Columbus and Dayton, according to the governor’s office.

In addition to the new lanes, the project replaced the existing pavement and seven bridges. Noise walls, improved drainage, and cable barriers in the median were also installed to reduce the risk of crossover crashes.

DeWine was joined by Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jack Marchbanks and others, including Ohio Sen. Bob Hackett, R-London, and Ohio Rep. Kyle Koehler, R-Springfield. They gathered on West Leffel Lane near a section of I-70. State officials said that 70,000 cars travel that section of the interstate every day, and it is projected that in the next decade that number will go up to 100,000.

“The last few years have taught us a lot about the importance of an unhindered supply chain. As truck traffic continues to increase in Ohio, we have to make sure goods and workers can get to their final destination safely and on time. This project ensures that Ohio isn’t the chokepoint in the national supply chain,” said Marchbanks.

This project is part of the $5.8 billion that has been invested into more than 2,800 ODOT projects to improve roads and bridges across the state since 2018.

“One of the things that makes us stronger is our infrastructure and our highways,” DeWine said, noting that those routes are important in terms of economic development in the state and reaching larger population centers in the country.

A news release from DeWine’s office stated that Ohio is within a day’s drive of 60% of the U.S. and Canadian population and that freight infrastructure has made Ohio an important player in global and domestic supply chains.

The governor’s office added that Ohio’s freight-reliant industries contributed nearly 40% of Ohio’s economy and in 2021, trucks drove more than 14.2 million miles on Ohio roadways, including 2.5 million on I-70.

Work on I-70 was split into two phases. The first was completed in 2015 and added a third lane between Enon and U.S. 68. The second phase included recent work on the portions between 68 and 72.

The second phase also eliminated two pinch points where the highway went from two to three lanes in each direction in order to improve road safety.

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