CANTON, Ohio — A major national roadway that runs through Northeast Ohio could be getting a big boost.
The Canton area will receive an $18 million grant from the United States Department of Transportation to help extend U.S. Route 30, which stretches across the country and includes an 88-mile portion from Richland to Stark County. The grant was one of 55 announced Tuesday by U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao as part of her department's Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) program.
"The Administration is targeting BUILD Transportation grants to repair, rebuild, and revitalize significant infrastructure projects across the country," Chao said in a statement.
Specifically, the Route 30 money will go towards extending the highway between Trump Avenue and state Route 44 in Stark County. Sixteenth district U.S. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez's office says the project will improve highway access and lead to more jobs and development in the area.
Gonzalez, who was part of a bipartisan group of Ohio lawmakers fighting to secure the funding, released the following statement:
"The U.S. Route 30 expansion project has been the top infrastructure priority for Stark County for the better part of the last three decades, and I am incredibly honored that my office has been able to play a role in getting this across the finish line. One of my top priorities as the representative for Ohio’s 16th District has been to leverage federal dollars to invest in infrastructure projects and generate economic development. Ensuring we have the infrastructure to support local industries will give Northeast Ohio the framework we need to move our economy forward and make our region a destination for young families and small businesses."
According to The Repository in Canton, The Regional Transportation Improvement Project (RTIP) of Stark, Carroll, and Columbiana Counties applied for the grant after being rejected three previous times. The Route 30 extension is part of a massive infrastructure project that is expected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars when completed, as officials also hope to extend the expressway from state Route 44 to state Route 11.
A timetable for when the expansion might begin has not yet been announced.