There’s been some conflicting news about the status of the I-71 widening from four lanes to six lanes between Columbus and Cleveland. Almost all is finished, but will the last 25-mile segment in Morrow County be completed?
No money, so work on I-71 stops $86 million would finish up 10-year construction zone
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 3:07 AM
By Bill Bush
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
After 10 years of construction, a project to widen I-71 to at least three lanes between Columbus and Cleveland is almost done — and indefinitely on hold for lack of funding.
Even the availability of federal stimulus money for transportation projects won’t put it back on track any time soon. The remaining 25-mile stretch hasn’t been designed yet, although all bridge work will be completed by this fall.
Completing the job would cost about $86 million, which is not currently available, said ODOT spokeswoman Nancy Burton.
ODOT: I-71 widening will come
By Mark S. Jordan
May 19, 2009
Mt. Vernon News
MOUNT GILEAD — Although the economy has slowed things down, the long-planned widening of a 25-mile stretch of Interstate 71 in Morrow County has not been moved to the back burner, officials of the Ohio Department of Transportation said Monday.
Regional local government officials met with representatives of ODOT and the Ohio Department of Development in a meeting in Mount Gilead, arranged by State Rep. Margaret Ann Ruhl.
Ruhl called the meeting after concerns were expressed that the planned expansion of I-71 in Morrow County to three lanes on both sides of the highway was not going to take place. The original plan was to expand the road to six lanes from Cleveland to Columbus. The Morrow County stretch is the last part of the project to be completed.
Maybe I’m asking the wrong question. It will probably get finished eventually, but when?