Dublin Villager

I-270 and U.S. Route 33

Interchange project in line for $7M from MORPC

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The Interstate 270/U.S. Route 33 interchange project could receive $7 million from the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission.

The Dublin interchange project is one of 18 on the proposed list of new transportation projects that could receive more than $68 million in federal funds from 2014 to 2019.

MORPC currently is accepting comments on the proposed funding for the projects through Jan. 14. A vote is planned Feb. 14.

When approved, the list becomes a part of a draft four-year plan, according to MORPC.

So far, work on the proposed interchange improvements have focused on studies and preliminary engineering. The $7 million from MORPC would be used for something new, said Assistant City Engineer Jeannie Willis.

"It would be construction of phase one of the interchange," she said. "We're still working on defining what the recommended alternative is. We should be wrapping that phase of the project up in 90 days or so, early in 2013."

Alternatives for the interchange have included rebuilding the northbound to westbound ramp for phase one, which is expected to begin in 2015 and be finished by 2017, depending on funding.

"It's wonderful news," Willis said of the interchange's spot on the MORPC list. "The recommendation shows the importance of this project not just to Dublin, but to central Ohio as a whole, Marysville, Union County (and) Franklin County. It means the movement of goods throughout central Ohio."

However, much more than $7 million is needed for the first phase of the project.

"Right now we're budgeting $51 million (for phase one)," Willis said. "That is definitely on the high side."

The project will have three phases, Willis said, and much more work is needed before construction.

"Certainly we'll be working on finding money and also looking to finish up environmental studies," she said.

Environmental studies and preliminary engineering must be completed before detailed design plans are penned.

The I-270/U.S. Route 33 interchange is a high-accident area and has had few improvements since it was built in the 1970s.

For information on the project, visit 27033interchange.org.

A complete list of the proposed new funding projects for MORPC is at morpc.org/transfunding.

Comments on MORPC's proposed transportation project list can be submitted in writing to Robert Lawler, Director of Transportation, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, 111 Liberty Street, Suite 100, Columbus, OH, 43215, or via email at tip@morpc.org by 5 p.m. Jan. 14.

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