Gov. John Kasich's "Jobs and Transportation Plan" could mean $51.5 million for the Interstate 270/U.S. Route 33 improvement plan.
The Ohio Transportation Review Advisory Council last week gave a preliminary nod to the $3-billion plan that includes projects across the state and is funded by Ohio Turnpike profits and federal, state and local money.
In the plan, the I-270/U.S. Route 33 interchange in Dublin that hasn't seen improvements since construction in the 1970s is designated for $51.5 million, enough to wrap up funding for the $93-million project.
Improvements planned for the I-270/U.S. Route 33 interchange include widening Route 33 between the interchange and the Avery-Muirfield exit, and adding new ramps to replace the cloverleaf configuration.
Dublin has committed to $17 million for the project and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission will put $25 million in the pot.
The preliminary approval opened a public comment period that ends Aug. 16.
Dublin is urging residents to submit comments on the importance of the project to help the cause.
"It's helpful to know there's community support and outreach from residents and the business community," said Marsha Grigsby, Dublin city manager.
"It helps those reviewing applications and shows the importance of the project in the community," she said. Grigsby said she was told the public support for the I-270/U.S. Route 33 interchange was the most ever seen.
"It helps the project stand out in review," she said.
"The projects accelerated have close ties to freight," she said. "This project is a great example of that, especially with Honda, but it has an impact on all our businesses."
Honda considers the I-270/ U.S. 33 corridor "vital," according to Caroline Ramsey, government relations manager for Honda of America Mfg. Inc.
"The governor has been very committed to infrastructure improvements for the future, and we consider the I-270/U.S. 33 corridor one that is vital to Honda's regional operations, and one that will have a positive impact on safe travel and efficient transport of goods in the region," she said in a statement.
If the project receives final approval from TRAC in September, Grigsby said a contract for construction could be awarded as soon as next year.
"Before, we were hoping to get funding in 2017," she said.
Public comment about the project can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. us; or by mail to Ohio Department of Transportation, C/O Jim Gates, 1980 W. Broad St., Columbus, Ohio 43224.