In a state with pressing budget problems and a stated objective to focus on more multi-modal transportation, should a new four-lane, grade-separated highway parallel to an existing interstate really be a priority? I don’t think so, and I guess that’s why there’s no state or federal funding for it, as discussed in the article below.
I know transportation funds aren’t necessarily fungible, but if the goal is to improve the economic link between Columbus and Pittsburgh, maybe providing a mode of transportation that is currently unavailable to travelers would be a better alternative.
Committee discusses toll road to Pittsburgh
BY KENT MALLETT • Advocate Reporter • February 7, 2009
HANOVER — The Columbus-Pittsburgh Corridor Committee directed its members Friday to begin discussions about creating a toll road between the two major cities.
The committee, which represents the seven Ohio counties along the route, asked its members to talk with county commissioners, mayors and other governmental leaders about potential support for such a funding plan.
The goal of the committee, which met Friday at Longaberger Golf Club, near Hanover, is to complete a 160-mile, four-lane, limited-access highway connecting Columbus and Pittsburgh.
Luther Liggett, of Bricker & Eckler law firm, representing the Ohio Engineers Association, presented the toll-road idea to the committee, which took no official action other than to discuss the plan.
The Ohio Department of Transportation and the federal government likely will never approve the funds needed to widen the highway and limit access along the entire route, Liggett said. He said Ohio already has legislation in place to create the toll road.