The Ohio Department of Transportation announced it would spend $2.3 billion on new construction in 2017. Anyone driving along North Court Street Medina might think it all was centered right there.
During an ODOT press conference Tuesday at Fire Station 1 on Reagan Parkway in Medina, Mayor Dennis Hanwell said the U.S. Route 42/North Court Street project will be a huge benefit to the city once it’s done next year, for the following reasons:
- Safety. The Court Street/Reagan Parkway intersection is among the top five accident-prone areas in the city.
- Aesthetic appeal. Hanwell called Court Street the corridor to the city. City leaders want the main route to be welcoming to visitors and residents.
- Supporting business. It might not be doing much for business right now, but when it’s done, it will.
“It’s a very trying time for some of our businesses,” Hanwell said. “It’s a temporary inconvenience. (The construction) will make this corridor welcoming. The city will grow and prosper.”
Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof, R-Montville Township, said the Route 42 construction project is significant. He said it would relieve congestion on the roadway and make it safer.
Route 42 isn’t the only major project in the eight-county area of District 3 that includes Medina County. ODOT said it’s one of 82 projects planned worth $145 million for this year.
The list includes:
- Interstate 71 resurfacing.
- Interstate 90 bridge replacement in Lorain County.
- I-71 smooth seal in Ashland County.
- I-90 resurfacing in Lorain County.
- North Carpenter Road reconstruction in the northern part of Medina County.
Statewide, ODOT has planned 1,098 projects, 26 valued at more than $10 million. Workers will pave 6,945 miles of roadway — enough for a two-lane road from Seattle to Key West, Fla. — and repair or replace 1,281 bridges.
“Since Gov. John Kasich took office (in 2010), we have invested an unprecedented $14 billion in Ohio’s infrastructure,” ODOT Director Jerry Wray said. “Our transportation network is Ohio’s greatest manmade asset and it is our duty to ensure it is in the best condition possible. That’s why 93 cents of every dollar we’re spending on roads and bridges this year will go to preservation.”
This year’s construction program will include 191 projects aimed at making roadways safer. These projects range from reconfigured intersections to additional signage and signals.
“We have seen an increase in the number of traffic deaths in Ohio over the last three years, and we are working hard to reverse this disturbing trend,” Wray said.
There were 6,041 crashes in work zones resulting in 28 deaths, 186 serious injuries and 810 minor injuries last year. The top cause of work-zone crashes is following too closely. Officials said drivers need to pay extra attention and follow signs and directions in work zones to ensure the safety of workers and motorists.
ODOT Deputy Director Howard Huebner said the projects benefit the citizens of Ohio.
“We’re here to work for you,” he said.
Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.