Input sought on U.S. 33 plan

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The Ohio Department of Transportation is asking for public input on its U.S. 33 Corridor Plan.
With that in mind, ODOT is hosting a virtual public meeting from 4-6 p.m. Thursday to discuss “The US-33 Corridor Plan: A vision for Logan and Union counties.” The 20-year, long-range plan looks at not only U.S. 33, but access to the highway from Route 274, west of Bellefontaine, to Route 161 at the City of Dublin.
Scott Phinney, ODOT statewide planning and research administrator, said the purpose of the meeting is to “inform the public of the work that has already been accomplished, get feedback, and explain what to expect as we conclude the study.”
Phinney said it is evident that development in the corridor is changing the way traffic moves and has moved.
“Most of the time, U.S. 33 works great,” Phinney said. “But there are just times where there are difficulties getting to and from U.S. 33.”
Phinney explained that several years ago, ODOT partnered with officials from Union and Logan counties as well as Marysville, Dublin and Bellefontaine. He said the purpose was to, “develop a collaborative game plan for the corridor moving forward with the thought that we wanted to be proactive, not reactive with the growth in the corridor.
“We wanted to look at not only the current conditions, but what conditions might change over the next 25 years,” Phinney said.
He said that because some of the projects could be on U.S. 33 while others would be on state, county or township roads, or city streets, it was important for all the entities to work together to create a cohesive plan that worked for the corridor as a whole.
Phinney said stakeholders and a steering committee have been meeting and working for several years.
“Now we have some idea, some thoughts on what could happen in the future and we want to share them with the community,” Phinney said.
He said it is important to have the public vet the ideas, “to see, did we think of everything or is there something we missed.”
Phinney said there will be several speakers and exhibits.
“When you do a planning study, most people are concerned with what are you going to do rather than the process you used,” Phinney acknowledged.
He said the presentation will offer several possible projects, “at a very high level.”
He stressed that none of the projects are even planned. Phinney said the document will be a tool to be used as development progresses.
“None of these projects are programmed, but hopefully this plan will help us address transportation needs as they come up rather than playing catch up,” Phinney said.
Pre-registration for the meeting is required and can be completed online at the ODOT website, www.transportation.ohio.gov.



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