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ODOT ditches plan to expand US 23, will work on smaller-scale improvements

The department cited cost, resident concerns and safety as issues why its reevaluating plans to alleviate congestion.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Transportation said it would cost billions to fix congestion along U.S. Route 23 including expanding the existing roadway from Franklin County to Waldo in Marion County.

The department has previously approved multiple concepts to help alleviate congestion.

Homeowners had fought many of the plans saying it would take away their homes and ruin their businesses along U.S. 23.

In an update Tuesday, ODOT said they have determined none of the concepts presented can be reasonably implemented in the immediate future.

Instead, the department said they will begin developing a plan to identify a series of future, stand-alone/smaller-scale improvements projects along the existing corridor between Waldo and Interstate 270.

Earlier this year, ODOT said U.S. 23 was roughly 30% overcapacity. They also cited that traffic congestion on the corridor would only increase with Delaware County and Columbus to grow by 85,000 and 1 million new residents respectively by 2040.

“Public feedback has shown that improvements to safety and congestion is a top priority for many who live and travel along the existing route,” ODOT said on its website. “Additionally, the study clearly indicated that improvements to the U.S. 23 corridor would positively affect tens of thousands of drivers daily. Therefore, this plan for future projects will leverage much of the data, public feedback, and findings from the study.”

ODOT says they will reach out to stakeholders to discuss transportation concerns and priorities along the corridor in the coming months.

“Through this shift in focus, we will prioritize the needs of the existing U.S. 23 corridor and develop individual projects, providing drivers with real benefits sooner rather than later,” ODOT said. Moving forward, we will continue to engage the public to get your input and ideas for how to solve some of these problems.”

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