The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) received a huge influx of funding from the Biden-Harris Administration recently. The agency, which helps plan transportation improvement projects for the Columbus metro area, is now asking for input from the public. Anyone who lives in Columbus or the surrounding area can comment on what they think the agency should do with its new cash.
The commission has $148 million in federal funds to play with. These funds come from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). This law has provided funds for transportation projects of all kinds all over the country. The law gave the U.S. its largest cash infusion for infrastructure ever at a time when the country sorely needed it. Now, it appears as though Columbus intends to take advantage.
The MORPC wants to expand roadways and bike infrastructure.
The first step of these processes is always the planning agency asking for submissions from local municipalities for potential projects. After all, no agency can know the needs of a metro area the size of Columbus. The MORPC received more than $260 million in total funding requests. So, it spent the last few weeks whittling down the projects to those it thinks will be best for central Ohio. There are two major areas for improvement the agency highlighted in its latest release: roadway expansions and bike and pedestrian infrastructure.
The agency highlighted multiple roadways that need to increase their capacity. Columbus is a growing city, and its needs for road space are growing with it. In the MORPC’s release, it outlined nine projects that it had approved for funding. The most expensive is an $11 million project in Worthington along State Route 161.
Bike and Pedestrian Infrastructure
The bulk of the rest of the project proposals were for non-motorist improvements across the city. The largest of the projects would set up a large shared-use path along Dublin Road in western Columbus. It would cost the agency a little more than $10 million to complete.
While none of the projects the MORPC outlined would make a huge impact on their own, taken together, they could transform Columbus for years to come. To submit your comment, you can write to 111 Liberty St., Suite 100, Columbus, Ohio 43215, or email it to at firstname.lastname@example.org.