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Why is US 33 northbound (In Ohio) a 4 lane road

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Sometimes, I still wonder how US 33 became a freeway earlier than US 23. US 33 from Marysville to Bellefontaine could be fine as an expressway despite Honda's presence in Marysville. Meanwhile, US 23, which carries long-distance traffic from Columbus-Michigan between Columbus (or Delaware) and OH 15, and Columbus-Southeastern states between Columbus and Chillicothe, still have at-grade signalized intersections, lack of bypasses for some of the towns, and both ways to get from Delaware to I-270 (US 23 or US 36/I-71) are lined with traffic signals for a good stretch.

I feel like that's why Columbus and Toledo have such poor cultural exchange. Especially as compared to how strong the cultural exchange is between Columbus and almost all of the rest of the state.

Everytime I go to Ohio I'm basically in the Toledo area when I enter the state but after that I often opt for I-75 SB, never get on the Turnpike although I do have the Turnpike clinched. If I'm heading east I opt for OH-2 most of the time. I almost never get on US-23 after Perrysburg and when I have gone to Columbus I take I-75 to OH-15 to US-23. I remember back in the 90's when I was still traveling with my parents we had directions and this was before gps systems they told us to take OH-199 and we never could figure out how to get to it since there was no exit for it off either 75 or 475.

I used to drive between Columbus and Fort Wayne quite frequently and in my opinion, it's worthless to spend any effort four-lane-ing US 33 any further than it is. That jog to the west I-75 takes at Findlay makes US 33 useless going to Columbus except if you're coming from Fort Wayne (or Chicago). If it were up to me, I would take it up to US 30 (probably at I-75) and then you can use US 30 into Fort Wayne. That's not ideal since you kind of have to go backwards, to the east, but it's probably the most complete way into Fort Wayne and it makes use of a pretty good road into Fort Wayne. That jog I-75 takes to the west ruins the utility of any route into Columbus south of Findlay.

FWIW, I used to take US 33 to Ohio 117 to I-75. Then exit Bluelick Road, go west to Ohio 65 and then to US 30.

But really, it makes more sense to spend that money to complete freeway-ing US 23 where it already connects to US 30. That would be an okay way into Fort Wayne and beyond.

To answer the question as to why US Route 23 has lagged behind: it was four-laned much earlier than most. Portsmouth was a major steel industrial center and a bustling city (not so much for either counts), and Chillicothe was a major paper industrial center. The current four-lane is sufficient for the most part but it's early designs leave much to be desired as traffic counts increase closer to Columbus you get.


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