The Chamber will continue to be strong advocates for projects like the new Dorr Street interchange on I-475 that will increase access to our community and provide new opportunities for development and job creation. The widening of I-475 and the proposed interchange at 20A will also aid creating an efficient and robust transportation system in the region.
As markets continue to grow in central Ohio and the southeastern United States, the establishment of an improved route to these areas will become even more important. For a number of years, there has been a proposal to improve the existing US 23 corridor as part of the I73-74-75 corridor to connect Michigan to South Carolina. This is about making markets more accessible and increasing the transportation efficiency in the state. The Chamber will continue to advocate with our state and federal officials to make this project a reality.
The Port of Toledo is one of the region’s greatest assets. Items ranging from grain to petroleum to other bulk materials arrive and exit from our port every year, making it one of the busiest ports on the entire Great Lakes system. In order to maintain these capabilities, it will be important to develop a funding solution for long-term planning and support of infrastructure needs.
It is also important to look beyond our region when considering transportation and infrastructure needs. Supporting enhancements to existing facilities and structures like the Brent Spence Bridge in Cincinnati or the Soo Locks in northern Michigan are critical to moving goods and materials in and out of the Toledo region.
The discussion about transportation must also include public transit. Having an efficient, robust and responsive public transit system will help to promote the economic well-being of the region. Public transit is a workforce issue as much as it is a mere transportation issue. Ohio currently ranks 40th in the nation in per capita state support for public transit, so it will be imperative that we work together as a region to find the solution that is right for us. The Chamber continues to work with TARTA to develop a strategy that is responsive to the area’s employers and promotes economic well-being.
The Chamber looks forward to working with other partners in the region like the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority and TMACOG to advocate on these and other projects important to the business community. If you have questions about the process, items that are included, or want to get more involved, please contact Brian Dicken, vice president of advocacy & public policy at email@example.com or 419-243-8191.
As the Vice President of Advocacy and Public Policy for the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce, Brian oversees the Chamber’s advocacy and public policy efforts with local, state and Federal governments. With nearly 20 years of experience, he has held positions in state government in the offices of the Ohio Lt. Governor, Ohio Auditor of State and Ohio Treasurer of State. He also worked for the late U.S. Representative Paul Gillmor and in the Office of the Vice President of the United States.