Gov. Kasich’s transportation plan could mean change for northwes - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Gov. Kasich’s transportation plan could mean change for northwest Ohio

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(Toledo News Now) -

On top of $195 million to widen I-75 in Wood County, Governor Kasich's transportation plan has more than $200 million on the fast track for additional improvements on I-75 in Toledo.

There would be $175.9 million earmarked for additional upgrades at the 75/475 interchange, adding a lane for southbound 75 traffic heading west on 475, and for eastbound 475 traffic heading north on 75. That project would begin in 2015, as opposed to 2027 or later.

That work would also involve improvements to the Jeep Parkway ramps, which would help the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority with its development efforts at the Overland Industrial Park.

"The fewer things that are open out there, loose ends, that causes some issues for development, but the more concrete things you have and access is one of them, it's easier to develop," says Matt Sapara, of the Port Authority.

I-75 would also widen, with a third lane being added between Phillips and I-280. Total cost for that would be $51 million, with construction starting in 2015 as opposed to 2027 or later.

With the governor's plan being paid for through bonds issued against future turnpike tolls, Lucas County Commissioner Tina Skeldon-Wozniak says Northern Ohio cannot afford to get short-changed.

"We want the projects and the dollars to be spent here. We're keeping an eye on it because we really don't know the future plans but we recognize this as a great first step."

The governor's recommendations will be voted on by the state's Transportation Review Advisory Committee on Thursday.   

Related: Local road projects could start sooner

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