Rep. Phillips Proposes Name Change To Nelsonville Bypass

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The Nelsonville bypass may soon be getting a new name.

State Representative Debbie Phillips (D-Athens) announced legislation Friday morning honoring former Governor Ted Strickland by designating the recently opened road as the Governor Ted Strickland Highway.

“I’m very pleased to sponsor legislation that recognizes the life and service of former Governor Ted Strickland, a true champion of the people,” Phillips said in a statement. “As a man from Appalachia with humble beginnings, Governor Strickland recognized the importance of helping the least among us.”

Strickland served Southeastern Ohio in Congress from 1993-95 and again from 1997-2007 before being elected as the state’s 68th Governor. As Governor, Strickland was instrumental in the completion of the decades-long project on Route 33 by putting $150 million in federal stimulus money toward the construction in 2009. The money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act put the project ahead of its scheduled completion by several years.

“Because Governor Strickland made sure the necessary funds were allocated, the Route 33 project has finally been completed, and I know I speak for all southeastern Ohioans when I say ‘thank you!’,” Phillips said.

The project helped eliminate the bottleneck traffic that occurred as drivers entered the city of Nelsonville from both ends of Route 33 and reduces travel time between Athens to Columbus by 20 minutes.

Phillips is seeking co-sponsors for the legislation and expects it to receive a bill number within the next month.