U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao coming to region Monday

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao will visit the region Monday, touring the Transportation Research Center (TRC) Inc. in East Liberty with U.S. Sen. Rob Portman.

She will tour the facility, which is the country’s largest independent vehicle test facility and proving grounds.

Chao is the wife of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Jr. of Kentucky. Her visit is scheduled for 11:30 a.m.

“She is coming here because Ohio is quickly becoming a model for the rest of the country on how to use smart transportation to help create economic growth and expand opportunity,” Portman said in a news release. “TRC Ohio is playing a big role in that.”

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The 40-year-old, 4,500-acre facility, located near Honda, is used by governments and companies to test vehicles under a variety of road conditions, terrain and situations.

Earlier this year Ohio Gov. John Kasich, JobsOhio and Ohio State University announced they will partner on a $45 million first phase of a “state of the art hub” for testing automated and autonomous vehicle technology to be built at the TRC.

The new 450-acre Smart Mobility Advanced Research and Test Center would be built on the grounds of the existing facility.

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