$54 Million in State Opportunity Corridor Contracts Will Go to Minority Businesses

Governor John Kasich and local elected leaders tout minority contracting figures for the Opportunity Corridor project.
Governor John Kasich and local elected leaders tout minority contracting figures for the Opportunity Corridor project.
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The governor and state transportation chief made a stop in the economically depressed part of Cleveland that the road project is supposed to help revitalize.

A crowd of elected leaders and community members packed into a room at the Kenneth L. Johnson Recreation Center. There, Transportation Department Director Jerry Wray announced that about 20 percent of the state’s $267 million contribution to the project will go to minority contractors.

"We are setting aside $23 million of that for African-American minority firms," said Wray, to support from the mostly black audience.

Governor Kasich said the project’s on target to meet state standards for minority contracting.

"I think it’s going to be fair to say we are going to meet the numbers of the set-aside for the first time in Ohio history," he said.

Half a million dollars each will go into the rec center and job training programs for residents of the area sometimes referred to as “The Forgotten Triangle.”

But the main way the road project linking Interstate 490 to University Circle is supposed to benefit the neighborhood is by bringing traffic through it, spurring development, supporters say.

Critics say the project is more aimed at speeding commuters through the area on their way to University Circle. The governor addressed those fears, saying the details of the project need to ensure the new roadway connects well to the community.

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