Update on Transportation Projects and Federal Stimulus Funds
Some states receiving federal stimulus funds for transportation plans decided to spend the money on a few large highway projects. In Ohio, ODOT instead selected a wide range of projects – many of them local. The scope of projects means that Ohio will spend more time and attention to administer the work. Ohio has also been selected by the federal General Accounting Office as one of 16 states that will be subject to a higher level of monitoring. The American Recovery and Reinvestment (ARRA) program in Ohio is therefore is one of rapid project development and intense monitoring.
TMACOG staff has met with the Federal Highway Administration and ODOT staff to provide details about how projects were selected in our region. Staff members have also attended required ODOT training to ensure reporting is in compliance with program guidelines and are holding monitoring meetings with project sponsors to keep work on schedule. Some construction has started and the greatest number of projects will be underway in the spring and summer of 2010. There will be a second phase of transportation project authorizations due March 2, 2010. That phase will bring an additional $608 million to Ohio.