Dublin Villager

U.S. Route 33/Interstate 270

MORPC awards $18 million in additional funding

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The U.S. Route 33/Interstate-270 interchange improvement project was awarded an additional $18 million last week.

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission last week gave the OK to a resolution that will give plans to improve the interchange a total of $25 million over the next 20 years from the organization's federal funding.

MORPC previously committed $7 million to the project, but increased the amount to $25 million after a request from the Ohio Department of Transportation. Dublin has also pledged $17 million toward the project.

"MORPC's action today will help our region attract an estimated 44,600 new jobs and $2.8 billion in private investment," Dublin City Manager Marsha Grigsby said in a release.

"We appreciate MORPC's leadership in funding infrastructure investments that preserve our competitive edge in logistics, and will keep our economy thriving and growing into the future."

City Engineer Jeannie Willis said the commitment from MORPC shows how important the project is to the region.

"What it does mean is we submitted a TRAC application this year in 2013 telling them we expected MORPC to step up with an additional $18 million and now we have that commitment," Willis said.

"Now we have a committed local participation of $46 million," she said. "It demonstrates strong local and regional commitment to this project."

The interchange is in the top 20 of ODOT's freeway crash list and has had few improvements since it was built in the 1970s. The interchange serves about 90,000 vehicles each day, the release said.

The preferred solution for the interchange announced by ODOT in May calls for a two-phase project that is expected to cost $92 million.

The first phase is planned for construction between 2014 and 2016 and will include improvements beyond the interchange.

Two of the cloverleaf ramps will be replaced as new ramps are constructed from U.S. Route 33 eastbound to I-270 north and south.

New ramps will also be constructed to take drivers on I-270 north and south from U.S. Route 33 west.

Two exit ramps are planned to take cars from I-270 southbound to U.S. Route 33 west.

Travelers from I-270 northbound to U.S. Route 33 east will have a new exit with a traffic signal.

During the first phase of the project, U.S. Route 33 will also be widened to four lanes on each side from the interchange to the Avery-Muirfield Road exit.

The second phase of the project includes a flyover ramp from I-270 northbound to U.S. Route 33 west.

Much of the work in the first phase is expected to relieve the interchange of traffic problems, so the second $25 million phase likely won't be constructed for 10 to 12 years.

The project is on track, Willis said, and design and project development is under way.

"We'll be breaking ground in late 2014," she said.

While the project should improve safety at the interchange, it's also expected to aid business.

"This jobs corridor, which includes major employers such as Honda, connects the Columbus metropolitan area to the Detroit/Windsor border crossing, facilitating the $30 billion in bilateral trade between the U.S. and Canada," a news release from MORPC said.

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