COLUMBUS - State Reps. Michael Sheehy (D-Oregon) today provided sponsor testimony on House Bill (HB) 465, which would expand the Ohio Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) notification requirements for road construction projects.
“Oftentimes, local business owners, school officials, and elected representatives feel as though their voices are not heard when some of these construction projects commence. While maintaining and improving Ohio’s critical infrastructure should be one of our top priorities, it is my hope that House Bill 465 will ensure that those who are impacted by road construction projects can use their voice in a meaningful way,” said Rep. Sheehy.
During his testimony, Rep. Sheehy cited a project in the 46th House District off of OH Route 2, which has been met with opposition from business owners and school officials.
HB 465 does the following:
· Requires ODOT to notify the general community and offer an opportunity for appropriate public involvement before making any significant changes to any street or roadway. Current law only requires notification when establishing or changing a state highway.
· Requires ODOT to specifically notify any school that will be impacted by an additional state highway or a significant change to a state highway or any other street or roadway.
· Requires any person preparing a traffic safety study for ODOT to consider the impact of a proposed project on traffic through a designated school zone, and evaluate any increase or decrease of traffic through a designated school zone in light of the safety of students and school traffic.
HB 465 now awaits further hearings in the House Transportation and Public Safety Committee.