ODOT approves funding for State Route 32 improvements

BATAVIA, OH – Major work on the State Route 32 corridor will continue through next year, thanks to funding awarded through the highly competitive Transportation Review Advisory Committee (TRAC) process. The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) announced TRAC funding on Wednesday.

Clermont County Engineer Jeremy Evans said the $61.2 million in TRAC funding, combined with $11.5 million in ODOT safety funds and a $10.04 million local contribution, will pay for:

Work on the projects will begin in 2021.

Evans noted that the latest projects are part of a comprehensive effort that includes the already-completed third eastbound lane and intersection improvements at SR 32 and Bells Lane and Old SR 74. Projects now underway include the Clepper Lane Extension to Bach-Buxton Road, Old SR 74 widening, and Schoolhouse Road to Glen Este-Withamsville Road with access improvements at Old SR 74, Tealtown Road and Paul Drive.

Traffic signals will be eliminated on SR 32 – at Glen Este-Withamsville Road, Elick Lane and Old SR 74. They will be replaced with a partial interchange at Glen Este, a new interchange at Bach-Buxton and an improved local road network.

“This award represents more than a decade of planning and intentional investment in a critical corridor for the movement of people, goods and services throughout our entire region,” Evans said. “The county works very closely with ODOT and all of our transportation partners to ensure that the connections people need to travel safely and efficiently to their destinations are in place. We are pleased to continue our partnership with ODOT and look forward to working together to complete the next phase of a coordinated program of improvements that will improve safety and travel in Clermont County.”

TRAC received 27 applications for development or construction of transportation projects totaling nearly $925 million. The board held a series of hearings around the state to learn about each of the applications. Last month, TRAC approved a draft list and opened a public comment period.

The SR 32 Appalachian Corridor stretches from Cincinnati to Bridgeport, W.Va., touching 14 Qualified Opportunity Zones comprised of some 477,000 acres.

“The project will improve traffic flow, increase safety,  and has the potential to move the Cincinnati economy further east to Brown, Adams, Pike, Jackson, Meigs, Athens and  Washington counties,” said David Painter, president of the Clermont County Board of Commissioners.  “The additional funds shorten the construction schedule duration, allow multiple activities to be worked concurrently, and save tax payer money by avoiding escalation costs. Congratulations to all the members of the project team that worked so hard to win this TRAC funding.”

Commissioner Ed Humphrey added: “Leaders from throughout the region came together to educate ODOT about the importance of this project to economic growth. We’re very thankful that ODOT listened. This is a huge win for the region, something that will help our area grow and prosper well into the future.”

Commissioner Claire Corcoran said: “State Route 32 is one of the highest-volume local routes in Ohio – and is a critical east-west connection for the movement of people, goods and services throughout the state. I’m thankful to ODOT and excited about the potential that this funding brings. A huge congratulations to Andy Kuchta of Community and Economic Development and his team for their work on this important effort.”

TRAC was established by the Ohio General Assembly in 1997. It is charged with developing and overseeing a project selection process for major new transportation capacity projects that cost more than $12 million. Since 1998, TRAC has invested nearly $11 billion into Ohio’s infrastructure.