Increased support from the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission to upgrade the I-270/U.S. 33 interchange in Dublin is expected to benefit Marysville.
MORPC Executive Director William Murdock told Marysville City Council June 13 that the agency will increase its financial commitment to the project from $7 million to $25 million. The money will be allocated over a 20-year period from MORPC's annual allotment of federal funds.
Murdock said discussions about giving more money to the interchange upgrades started in January and February when the Ohio Department of Transportation asked MORPC for additional funding for the $92-million project.
"Long story short, we increased the commitment from $7 million to $25 million in order to get this project going faster and make sure traffic is free flowing from central Ohio up through Marysville," he said.
According to information from MORPC, the I-270/U.S. Route 33 exchange is among the top 10 business highway corridors in central Ohio. It serves approximately 90,000 vehicles per day, at least 20 percent of which are heavy trucks.
ODOT ranks the interchange in the top 20 for freeway crashes and says it exceeds its designed capacity by more than 100 percent.
Plans are to increase the capacity of the interchange and the segment of Route 33 between Avery Road and I-270. The design calls for replacing the loop ramps in the northwest and southeast quadrants of the interchange with directional ramps and adding lanes to Route 33 in both directions between Avery Road and I-270.
The city of Dublin has committed between $15 million and $17 million to the project.
"In addition, we're applying -- as a joint group of Dublin, ODOT and MORPC -- for what's called a TIGER (transportation investment generating economic recovery) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for $15 million to help bring some additional funds to the project," Murdock said.
Marysville Mayor John Gore said the city provided a letter of support for the TIGER grant.
"We had talked with Dublin about the project a number of times and would like to work with them because it benefits us a lot, also," Gore said.
Union County Economic Development Executive Director Eric Phillips also serves as MORPC's vice chairman and Marysville City Administrator Terry Emery is a municipal member, which Murdock said helped the commission recognize the needs of the area.
"This is great news for the region and great news for Marysville," he said. "It's why we're so delighted to have Marysville involved with the commission because Marys-ville voices and Union County voices were heard very strongly about this.