SANDUSKY, Ohio (WJW) – In the near future, your family’s drive to Cedar Point Amusement Park should be safer and perhaps faster too.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg was in Northeast Ohio Thursday to talk about a major road project the federal government is investing millions of dollars in.
With Cedar Point roller coasters in the background, Secretary Buttigieg made a stop along the shores of Lake Erie to announce the Erie County project.
It is designed to improve the safety of U.S. Route 6 between the cities of Huron and Sandusky, a route many people take to get to Cedar Point.
“There’s so many people who rely on this corridor every year. Commuters heading to work, tourists and locals like going to Cedar Point. I’ve had some fun explaining to my non-Midwestern friends what Cedar Point is and why it matters so much,” said Buttigieg.
“The goal was to get something done and 24-plus million bucks is a significant investment in our future,” said U.S. Senator Rob Portman, (R) Ohio.
Also in attendance were Democratic Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur and ODOT officials.
The project would replace five current intersections with roundabouts, create walking and bike paths and improve railroad crossings.
“Some 55 trains pass by here every day on tracks that run just a stone’s throw from the road and it’s a corridor that unfortunately has some of the most dangerous rail crossings in the entire state,” said Buttigieg.
In fact, officials say from 2015 to 2020, there were 43 crashes at the US-6 and Perkins Avenue intersection, and the train crossing is the third most hazardous crossing in the state of Ohio.
Yet, Cedar Point has 6,500 seasonal workers and attracts about 3 million visitors who travel the US-6 corridor every day, especially in the busy summer months when traffic volume increases by about 30%.
“These crossings create backups that snarl traffic for literally millions of travelers who come out here, whether they’re going to Cedar Point or any of the other places I mentioned,” said Buttigieg.
“By creating a new, separated multi-use bike path, travel will be safer for bicyclists, pedestrians, as well as the motoring public,” said Bob Weaver, from ODOT’s District 3.
Construction is expected to begin in 2026 and should be completed by 2027.
The Erie County project was one of only 166 communities across the country that received federal funds for the project, which will be matched by local and state funding as well.