In a pair of news blurbs, NBC4 has noted opposition to the demolition of two historic properties as a portion of ODOT’s I-70/I-71 reconstruction project downtown.
Part Of Downtown Split Project Draws Opposition
Wednesday, Aug 13, 2008 – 11:33 PM
By Jason Mays
COLUMBUS, Ohio – – There is new opposition to some of the plans for part of the massive reconstruction on the I-70-71 split downtown.
The $1.4 billion project is designed to make that stretch safer.
It averages two accidents daily and it carries 50,000 more vehicles a day than it was designed [to carry].
One part of the reconstruction plan would involve tearing down two century-old buildings in the nearby Olde Towne east neighborhood.
Some residents are opposed to the demolition.
About 50 of them attended a meeting last night hosted by the Ohio Department of Transportation.
O-DOT [sic] set up the meeting to explain the construction plans.
Afterward, the Olde Towne east neighborhood association president told NBC4 his group remains opposed to current plans and they will meet with O-DOT again in coming weeks.
Historic Business To Be Removed For Downtown Split
By Denise Yost
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Interstate 70-Interstate 71 split is one of the most dangerous roadways in Central Ohio.
On average, there are three crashes a day in the area, totaling nearly 1,200 crashes every year.
A $500 million road project aims at decreasing crashes in the area, but some area residents said the construction could hurt businesses and the economy in their communities.
The construction to the split is expected to begin in 2010, and for Mike Moore, his concerns aren’t for the inconvenience caused by the project. It’s about the history of his neighborhood.
“We don’t want to see something like this torn down. If there’s anything we can do to save it,” Moore said.
Moore is talking about the ET Paul Tire dealership that has been in business since 1895.
But instead of selling tires, it’s set to be the site of a new road, filled with the product attached to the cars, using it as part of new changes to the highway.
“If they get rid of this right here, that will take away 20 percent of business on Parsons Avenue,” Moore said.
NBC 4 called the Ohio Department of Transportation to ask about the plan. As it stands now, ODOT said it will use the area to build an urban avenue, meaning ET Paul and the bar next door will be removed. But, ODOT officials said they are willing to listen to residents, but they still have to deal with a highway that is one of the most congested and dangerous in Ohio.
A meeting was scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday night for public comment.
Here is the block to be demolished: