Your tax dollars will be hard at work as the Ohio Department of Transportation launches one of the largest, most aggressive construction seasons to date, with projects totaling approximately $2.3 billion. ODOT will begin or continue construction of nearly 1,000 projects statewide, including more than 70 construction projects in northwest Ohio, totaling $170 million.
One of the major areas of work that will impact traffic this year in District 2 is a project that will add a turn lane from northbound state Route 25 to eastbound Interstate 475 in Perrysburg.
"Investing in our state's transportation system is vital to our economy and to job creation," said ODOT Director Jerry Wray. "We work hard to establish and maintain an efficient, effective transportation system that gets people and goods where they want to go in a timely and safe manner."
ODOT's robust construction schedule consists of an impressive 996 projects, which could total as much as $2.3 billion. This season, ODOT will begin or continue work on 10 mega projects, each totaling more than $50 million.
New work will begin late this year on the eastbound Innerbelt Bridge in Cleveland, which is the largest, most expensive mega project in Ohio, totaling approximately $330 million. That amount also includes the demolition of the current, aging Innerbelt Bridge in downtown Cleveland.
Other projects in District 2 include:
On Wednesday, ODOT also announced small steps being taken in work on the High Level Bridge. It's a project that's been in the making for some time and is finally moving forward. The district has an apparent low bidder for the bridge project and are now in the process of awarding a contract to that bidder. ODOT spokesperson Theresa Pollick says the contract should be awarded by the end of this week.
When the project does take place it will begin with lane restrictions, then a 19-month closure, ending with painting the bridge. That means lane restrictions will stick around for several construction seasons.
ODOT officials say because the bridge was built in the 1930s, it needs special attention when it comes to restoration and safety.
"It is a historic structure. It's also a very old structure. So, in preserving its historic nature, and also making sure that it's done correctly, we've got a lot of work to do, to get it up to standards. So, that's why it involves the closure, because there's a lot of work," explained Theresa Pollick, ODOT spokesperson for District 2.
In the process of all the projects, road construction will mean delays and detours for commuters. Motorists should use caution throughout construction work zones this year.
The top three causes of work zone crashes are:
All of these causes can be prevented by safe driving. Officials say when roads are safe and easy to travel, surrounding businesses benefit. The slogan for the projects is "Keeping Ohio's Economy Moving."
For up-to-the-minute road conditions and details on highway construction projects in every area of the state, visit ODOT's website.
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