Tue, July 20, 2021 – Midwest Edition # 15
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced the opening of the new Fulton Street ramp to I-70 heading east during a ribbon-severing ceremony on July 13 in Columbus. The new ramp was built as part of the Ohio Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) Downtown Ramp Up project. (Office of Governor Mike DeWine photo)
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced the opening of the new Fulton Street ramp to I-70 heading east during a ribbon-severing ceremony on July 13 in Columbus. The new ramp was built as part of the Ohio Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) Downtown Ramp Up project, an ongoing project to rebuild Interstates 70/71 in downtown Columbus and alleviate the major security and congestion issues along the corridor.
“This important construction milestone could not have come at a better time,” said DeWine. “With so many Ohioans returning to their offices every day, efficiency and access are more important than ever. The Ohio fuel toll increase allowed us to complete that ramp and drive many improvements in the downtown area.”
The new ramp opens two years after DeWine began the $ 82 million construction phase and less than two years after the ramp closed from Third Street to I-70 east in November 2019.
“Many drivers saw closures for many years. Lanes were closed, ramps were closed and they had to take detours to get around,” said Lori Niese-Duguid, deputy director of ODOT District 6. “This ramp opening shows these commuters what theirs are ROI really is. Now they will see more openings, easier access to the freeway and fewer detours – all in the name of safety and efficiency. “
After completion of the construction project, more than 90 percent of the lane changes on I-70/71 will no longer be necessary. There are new urban avenues with complete streets; improved motorway junctions with accommodation for cyclists; and the removal of unsafe ramps. It will also reconnect neighborhoods by replacing bridges with wider, pedestrian-friendly structures with park and landscaping.
“We cannot change the past, but we can certainly shape the future anew,” said ODOT director Jack Marchbanks. “These seemingly small steps are actually big steps towards reconnecting the neighborhoods with downtown Columbus.”
The current construction phases through downtown Columbus are expected to last until 2026.