Routes from NW Ohio to Columbus may get a second look

Routes from NW Ohio to Columbus may get more study
Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 6:45 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - An easier and cleaner route from Toledo to Columbus might soon be getting a second look.

And in addition, Sandusky will be part of the mix.

The goal is to make connecting this area with Central Ohio easier.

With 38 traffic lights sitting between this area and Columbus for travelers taking US 23, the commute is everything but smooth.

Whether you identify this study as the second installment or continuation of the first, another $10 million is allocated in the state’s transportation budget to consider a better route between Toledo and Columbus. These dollars would also conduct a statewide study of the state’s transportation system.

If approved, this study might make the trip easier, especially for businesses from Canada ending up in Central Ohio and beyond.

“There’s actually emphasis around economic development and workforce development which is a different approach than they’ve taken in the past. I think this really helps strengthen our argument about that economic connectivity,” said Brian Dicken with the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce.

ODOT already completed one study that didn’t end up with much of a result. With an economic development lens this time, the hope is that it’s a harder, more comprehensive look.

“It really goes back to the message that they’ve heard, that there is a problem that’s not going to get fixed on its own,” said Dicken.

“I do think there are pathways that could fairly be used and benefit along the pathway too,” said Joe Roman of the Greater Sandusky Partnership.

This study will also include looking at a better route for Columbus to Sandusky, a place known for its tourism, but tourism is also economic development. Things everyone in the state could benefit from.

“Making sure that the state and everything is has to offer and the lake and everything is has to offer are more connected, better connected, more efficiently connected, I think, will have tremendous outcomes for the entire state,” said Roman.

There’s an end date in all this. If it’s approved as written now, this study needs to be done by December of next year so that if something positive is found, it can be included in the next budget cycle in 2025.

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