GREENE COUNTY — Another near-record construction season is underway across the state, with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) planning to invest $12,397,174 in the county’s roads and bridges.
Greene County’s 13 construction contracts are just a small portion of the state’s 1,098 projects, 26 of which are valued at more than $10 million.
The total number ODOT plans to invest in the state in 2017 is $2.3 billion, a number just shy of the record-$2.4 billion investments made in 2014 and 2015.
Workers will repair or replace 1,281 Ohio bridges and will pave 6,945 miles of Ohio roadway — enough for a two-lane road from Seattle to Key West.
“Since Gov. John Kasich took office, we have invested an unprecedented $14 billion in Ohio’s infrastructure,” ODOT Director Jerry Wray said in a release. “Our transportation network is Ohio’s greatest man-made asset, and it is our duty to ensure it is in the best condition possible. That’s why 93 cents of every dollar we’re spending on roads and bridges this year will go to preservation.”
A number of the state’s projects — 191 — are aimed at making the roadways safer. These projects range from reconfigured intersections to additional signage and signals.
In Greee County, there have been 23 fatal traffic crashes from 2015 to now. This accounts for eight fatalities in 2015, ten in 2016, and five in 2017.
“We have seen an increase in the number of traffic deaths in Ohio over the last three years, and we are working hard to reverse this disturbing trend,” Wray said.
Crashes in work zones are also a concern.
Last year, there were 6,041 crashes in Ohio work zones resulting in 28 deaths, 186 serious injuries, and 810 minor injuries. The top cause of work zone crashes is following too close.
ODOT is also working to make the existing system work more efficiently by leveraging technology like the OHGO app, intelligent transportation systems, and recently-approved variable speed limits and smart mobility corridors.
“The easy movement of people and goods from place to place is part of the ODOT mission statement. Those aren’t just words on paper,” Wray said.
News report compiled by Anna Bolton with information provided by the Ohio Department of Transportation.