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Highway 45 bypass still alive

COLUMBUS — Columbus Mayor Robert Smith says a proposed U.S. Highway 45 bypass is not dead and the city plans hearings in March so local residents can view two proposed routes for it.

After the hearing, the route will be finalized by early June, when preliminary work, including surveys, land acquisition and environmental assessments will begin.

Smith say construction likely will begin within three years with completion in 2020.

The project is expected to cost between $90 million and $100 million.

Smith tells The Columbus Commercial Dispatch that officials will seek federal help for the project.

He says the bypass will eliminate passenger and truck traffic through a highly commercialized area and improve safety.

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