Dublin Villager

Interstate 270/U.S. Route 33 interchange

City continues quest to obtain funding for project

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

When it comes to securing funding for the Interstate 270/ U.S. Route 33 interchange, Dublin is covering all its bases.

Dublin City Council members recently approved a resolution to submit a Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission Attributable Funding application.

The MORPC application was submitted in addition to another application recently submitted to ODOT's Transportation Review Advisory Council for funding for preliminary land acquisition and plans.

"It is important that we pursue all potential sources of funding for this project, not only through the TRAC process at the state level, but also through local sources such as MORPC," a staff report to council said.

City Engineer Paul Hammersmith said the construction of the first phase of the project is a few years off, but funding is needed for preliminary planning.

"We are hopeful to rank relatively high," he said. "They have several competing projects."

MORPC should decide upon grant winners in November and give final approval in January, Hammersmith said.

About $9 million is needed to complete preliminary engineering studies, design, right-of-way acquisition and utility work.

Another $3 million will be needed for detailed construction drawings before obtaining $15 million for all right-of-way acquisition for the first phase of the project.

Construction of the northbound I-270 flyover ramp to U.S. 33 west is expected to cost about $51 million.

Dublin is expected to pay $14 million to $15 million in phase one costs, City Manager Marsha Grigsby told council members last week.

Mayor Tim Lecklider questioned whether that much is a normal contribution.

"It is a little more than typical, but it does separate us from the pack," Councilman Michael Keenan said.

"This is a big part of our opportunity to get this leading edge of what's going on in respect to transportation projects," he said.

Cities that put more funding up for the project ahead of time are often in a better position when it comes to getting state and federal funding, Hammersmith agreed.

Funding and the ability to have Dublin staff work on the project could also put the project in a favorable light, Grigsby said.

The importance of the interchange on the economy could also help.

"The focus has been jobs the system has currently created," Grigsby said, noting that when the area reaches build out it could add as many as 32,000 additional jobs.

Keenan said the city has been able to show a lot of support for the project from residents and businesses.

"Staff within a very short period of time put 300 emails and letters of support together for MORPC," Keenan said. "They continue to hear from us."

The project will go to a TRAC hearing Thursday, Sept. 27, to present project details and try to obtain funding from ODOT, Keenan said.

"Staff is working to get more emails and letters for then," he said.

The I-270/U.S. Route 33 interchange has had few improvements since it was built in the 70s and continues to be a high-accident area.

For more information on possible improvements to the interchange, look online at 27033interchange.org.

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