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See Where Ohio Plans to Spend Additional $90 Million to Improve Roads Around Intel

Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Transportation officials announced Monday that the state would spend an additional $90 million to improve roads around the Intel semiconductor factories under construction in Licking County.

About $46 million is earmarked for nine local road projects in Licking, Delaware and Franklin counties while $24 million will be spent on five state road improvements in the area. An additional $20 million is set aside for undetermined Licking County roadwork.

DeWine said the funding further illustrates the state’s commitment to developing the region, which state economic development officials have dubbed “Silicon Heartland.” He noted that the money isn’t just for Intel, but “to pave the way for other economic development” in the area, which has also attracted major investments from Microsoft and Amazon.

“We expect a lot more than Intel, so we have to build for more than Intel,” DeWine said.

Much of the money is devoted to improving intersections around the Intel site, but some of the funding hints at larger projects, such as $5 million to study improvements to U.S. Route 62 (Johnstown Road) between Smith’s Mill Road and Johnstown, and another $2 million to study improvements to Route 37 from Delaware to Route 161.

“What we’re announcing today is really just the beginning,” DeWine said. “The roads out there were just never designed to handle this sort of traffic.”

Most of the projects won’t be undertaken for at least two years, and some are six or seven years away. Still, local officials welcomed the news.

“It’s really difficult for local governments to find this kind of money,” said Bill Lozier, director of projects for Licking and Fairfield County Transportation Improvement Districts. “We’re going to get on this right away.”

Lozier said all the roads mentioned can use improvement, but he is especially eager to see improvements on Clover Valley Road between Green Chapel Road and U.S. Route 62.

Monday’s announcement came days after the New Albany Company — founded by billionaire Les Wexner and chairman Jack Kessler and which developed much of New Albany from a village to a city as well as assembled the land for the Intel site — requested a road through Licking County connecting I-71 north of Columbus and I-70 east of Columbus.

DeWine and ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks said that request had nothing to do with Monday’s announcement, which has been in the works far longer.

The funding announced Monday comes on top of millions already devoted to roads around the Intel project, including $75 million to widen Route 161 between Interstate 270 and U.S. Route 62, which is days away from starting.

That project came in well below the $110 million budgeted for it, helping free up some funding for the newly announced projects, Marchbanks said.

Where is the money being targeted?

Here are the local roads targeted for improvements, cost and estimated completion year:

  • Thornwood Drive/The Hill intersection reconstruction, $4 million, 2025
  • Duncan Plains Road/County Line Road roundabout, $5 million, 2025
  • Route 605/Walnut Street roundabout, $5 million, 2025
  • Route 37/U.S. Route 62 intersection improvements, $1 million, 2026
  • Route 37/County Line Road roundabout, $4 million, 2026
  • Fancher Road/County Line Road roundabout, $4 million, 2026
  • Mink Street/Clover Valley Road/Green Chapel Road improvements, $12 million, 2027
  • Beech Road/U.S. Route 62 realignment study, $1 million, 2027
  • Mink Street/Duncan Plains Road roundabout, $10 million, 2028
  • Various Licking County local roads, $20 million, To Be Determined

Here are state roads targeted for improvements, cost and planned start year:

  • Route 161 noise wall, I-270 to U.S. Route 62, $8 million, 2026
  • Route 37 corridor study, $2 million, 2028
  • State Route 161/Interstate 70 connection study, $1 million, 2028
  • U.S. Route 62 feasibility study, Smith’s Mill Road to Johnstown, $5 million, 2030
  • Route 161 study, widening U.S. Route 62 to Thornwood Drive, $8 million, 2030

Source : Dispatch



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