The committee trying to turn U.S. Route 30 into a four-lane highway through Columbiana County wants to take a look at the environmental impact study of the project performed in the 1990s.
The county Transportation Improvement District committee agreed at this week’s meeting to contract with MS Consultants to review the 20-year-old environmental impact study to determine if the state Route 9-to-state Route 11 portion of the study needs to be updated.
A study of the entire Route 30 realignment was performed in the 1990s before the state pulled the plug on the project. County Engineer Bert Dawson had proposed TID focus on making a 13-mile stretch a reality from Route 9 in Hanoverton to the West Point/Route 11 interchange.
Dawson, who is chairman of the TID committee, said a review is necessary to determine whether another full-blown environmental impact study would be needed or if the study from the 1990s can be used in its current form without being tweaked.
MS would be paid $25,000, with the money coming from county commissioners. TID will seek a state grant to reimburse commissioners or could ask Regional Transportation Improvement Project for help. RTIP was created by county commissioners from Columbiana, Carroll and Stark counties as another way to also seek funding for the Route 30 project.
In other news, Dawson reported RTIP recently hired MS Consultants to recommend the best options for seeking the estimated $900 million need to turn Route 30 into a freeway from Canton to the West Point interchange. MS will be paid $100,000, with the money coming from a $250,000 RTIP received from the state legislature.
RTIP already used $7,500 of that money to hire a Washington, D.C., consulting firm to apply for $50 million in federal TIGER transportation grant money to fund for the three-mile section of the project from Trump Road in Canton to state Route 44 in East Canton, which has an estimated $80 million price tag.
Dawson said they were encouraged because they have asked for additional information on the TIGER grant application, which may mean the application survived the first cut.