There’s More to Explore on the Corridor

The Pittsburgh-Columbus Corridor, that is:

http://www.reviewonline.com/page/content.detail/id/518034.html?nav=5008

Personally, I would tell someone looking to go from Pittsburgh to Columbus to just take I-79 south to Washington, PA to pick up I-70.  May need I-470 to bypass Wheeling while the Wheeling Tunnel is being rehabbed but other than that its functional.  That having been said, extending the St. Rte 161 designation along these other highways out to Steubenville would make things simpler.  I have driven that entire routing in whole or in part on a few different occassions, and it is a nice alternative to boring I-70 without being a lot slower.  The Tappan Lake area is very picturesque and one cannot truely say they’ve lived until they’ve seen the Longaberger Basket with their own eyes.  Of course, to widen that stretch of US 250 to four lane would be difficult in places through Tappan Lake unless you re-route to a place that you can’t actually see the lake.  Any road enhancements along this corridor would also serve to better connect the people of the Coshocton area to the rest of the state, especially if they add new 4 lane stretches.  Perhaps also enhance St. Rte 60 from Ashland through Zanesville to Marietta.  But I’m not sure traffic would ever justify making it 4 lane the whole way from Newark to Cadiz (Cadiz to Steubenville along US 22 already is 4 lane as is IIRC the I-270 out towards Newark stretch in central Ohio).  However any feasible enhancement to roads leading to Columbus can be a very useful thing.  I would say keep existing roadways with one road designation prevelant and widen to 4 lane where that is doable, leave 2 lane, at least for now, where its not.

But, quite frankly, I can think of higher priorities from a budget and need standpoint.  In Columbus, and frankly statewide, I would call it a much higher priority to redesign US 23 a limited access freeway north from I-270 through Delaware County.  In Eastern Ohio completing the project to make US 30 4 lane statewide in eastern Stark and western Columbiana Counties, or at least get a bypass around East Canton and Minerva would be more useful.  I’m not sure if its doable but it would be nice to have the Rt 7/I-70 interchange in Bridgeport redone so you didn’t have to go through downtown Bridgeport.  I can think of a few improvements that could be made in the Toledo area and I’m sure there are other projects as well.  Still, its a nice idea to at least redesignate the route.  All that takes is new signage.

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