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$1.2 billion to be spent on NE Ohio’s transportation infrastructure

Michael Madison, suspected of killing three women is pictured during an appearance in East Cleveland Municipal Court

By JAY MILLER
2:52 pm, July 22, 2013

Gov. John Kasich came to Cleveland today to make good on his plan to use Ohio Turnpike revenue to strengthen the state’s transportation infrastructure.

At a news conference on Cleveland’s East Side, the governor announced his intention to spend $1.2 billion on 11 projects in the seven-county region over the next four years. The Northeast Ohio expenditures are part of a plan to spend $3 billion statewide on 41 road and bridge projects.

At the top of the list was $334 million for Cleveland’s Opportunity Corridor, a road that would link University Circle with the stub of I-490 that ends at East 55th Street. The first phase of that work will begin in 2014.

In a news release, the Ohio Department of Transportation said some of these projects would not have been able to get off the ground until 2027 without the cash infusion from selling bonds against the turnpike’s future revenue.

The projects still must be approved by the independent Transportation Review Advisory Council when that group meets on Thursday, July 25.

“By thinking outside the box we’re attacking Ohio’s highway budget deficit without a tax increase and keeping Ohio’s highways in top condition,” Gov. Kasich said in a statement, referring to the bond deal.

“Our agriculture, manufacturing and logistics industries, as well as so many others, depend on our world-class highway system for their success and the $3 billion in new funds made possible from our plan keeps them moving so Ohio’s economic recovery can keep moving.”

Among the other projects on the governor’s to-do list are the widening of interstates I-77 and I-271 in Cuyahoga County and Summit counties; widening U.S. routes 42 and 20 in Lorain and Medina counties; widening state routes 57 and 113 in Lorain and Medina counties; and reconstructing the Main/Broadway interchange in Summit County.

The governor also included on his list the already-announced demolition of the existing Inner Belt Bridge and the continuing rebuilding of the Inner Belt Freeway in Cuyahoga County.

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Taken from Crain’s Cleveland Business: http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20130722/FREE/130729968

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