Upgrade planned for section of I-70


BROOKVILLE — City manager Sonja Keaton informed council a future upgrade has been proposed for a section of Interstate 70 near Brookville.

“At a recent Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission board meeting I attended, I learned that one single TRAC (Transportation Review Advisory Council) project was submitted for calendar year 2023. That is the widening and rehabilitation of I-70 from Upper Lewisburg-Salem Road, just west of Exit 21, to state Route 48 in Englewood,” Keaton said.

“This project includes the replacement of two mainline bridge decks over Upper Lewisburg-Salem Road to accommodate the widened section,” Keaton continued.

Keaton noted TRAC assists the Ohio Department of Transportation in developing a project selection process for ODOT’s largest investments.

“TRAC projects are projects costing more than $12 million which adds transportation capacity and are critical to mobility, economic development and quality of life of citizens of Ohio,” Keaton advised.

Keaton said construction is estimated to start in 2029, if the project is awarded during this current TRAC round.

Brookville Fire Chief Ron Fletcher informed council he and police chief Doug Jerome have been notified by MARCS (Multi-Agency Radio Communications System) money has been diverted by Gov. Mike DeWine to help with the fees first responders pay to use the state’s MARCS system.

MARCS provides fiber optic and microwave technology that enables state, local and federal agencies to communicate instantly with one another.

“This is the backbone to our communications system,” Fletcher said.

Fletcher said the reduction of fees was promoted by DeWine to serve as an incentive to encourage fire and police departments to upgrade their radio equipment.

“Our fees are being cut in half for the next cycle,” Fletcher said

“That’s going to save each of us about $800 or so a quarter,” Fletcher continued.

Fletcher indicated the savings will help his department and the police department when the subject of replacing the current radios with new ones is proposed for next year’s budget.

“Our radios are approaching nine years old, which is a long time for digital electronics. We are looking for the end of life for the versions we are using,” Fletcher said.

“Purchasing new radios will be a major item in both of our budgets next year,” Fletcher continued.

Reach Terry Baver at [email protected].

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