On September 22, the Transportation Review Advisory Council or TRAC provided final approval to the annual list of projects to receive funding from the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Major New Capacity Program over the next four years – a program that includes more than $292 million in new funding commitments.
[Above photo by the Ohio DOT]
“Our economy depends on smart investments that make our transportation system safe and efficient,” explained Governor Mike DeWine (R) in a statement. “The projects approved today will keep our economy moving forward.”
The Ohio DOT said TRAC-funded projects focus on enhancing the capacity of Ohio’s transportation system and making it more efficient. The program resumed this year after being paused in 2020 when traffic volumes across the state dipped significantly, leading to a decline in revenue from the motor fuel tax.
“As traffic volumes increase, we will continue to be good stewards of the resources entrusted to us,” noted Jack Marchbanks, Ohio DOT’s director. “Ohio’s economy is growing. Safe, accessible and well-maintained transportation infrastructure is key to sustaining that economic growth and improving the quality of life for Ohioans.”
TRAC – comprised of nine members and chaired by Ohio DOT’s director – operates on an annual application cycle. At the completion of the application process, TRAC members vote on the approval of the Major New Construction Program List of funding commitments for preliminary engineering, detailed design, right-of-way, and project construction – placing funded projects into one of three “tiers” based upon the level of development required. Funding of new construction occurring only after meeting system preservation needs, Ohio DOT noted.
Back in April, the Ohio DOT planned to invest $1.92 billion into 956 transportation projects during the 2021 construction season to help improve statewide safety and mobility.
The agency said its 2021 construction program includes improvements to 876 bridges and 4,596 miles of pavement.
There are 266 safety projects included in the 2021 construction program. Funds for 131 of those projects – worth $178 million in total – are coming through the agency’s Highway Safety Improvement Program. A portion of these funds will go to local municipalities, townships, and counties to make safety improvements on roads they maintain, the agency said.