ODOT officials say effort to widen I-75 could take quite some time

By Justin Michaels - bio | email
Posted by Nick Dutton - email

WOOD COUNTY, OH (WTOL) – An effort to get I-75 from Perrysburg to Findlay widened from four to six lanes could cost hundreds of millions of dollars and take more than a decade to complete.

Business travelers like Andrew Alley think widening I-75 is a good idea. He travels from Detroit to Columbus three weeks out of the month. "Sometimes you will find people driving very slow in both lanes and they do block everybody up."

Stacey Fritsch, a BGSU student who travels on I-75 five days a week, says she thinks the highway should be widened because of heavy traffic.

Furthermore, Lorne Smith, who travels twice a year from Canada to Florida, thinks it would make traveling faster.

Ohio Department of Transportation's Mike Ligibel says "it's a very long process and a very elaborate process." He says the study would cost between $10 and $15 million, but Ligibel says the entire project could cost about $360 million.

Currently, ODOT has submitted an application to the Transportation Review Advisory Council committee in Columbus. TRAC, funded by the gas tax, would allot money for the study and fund a majority of the project. Additional money would come from other public and private sources.

ODOT expects a response from TRAC in January, but says even at the earliest, the new six lane I-75 would open in 10 years.

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