Detours and delays could slow your travel as $2.3 billion in state road and bridge projects get underway.
The Ohio Department of Transportation is gearing up for 1,098 projects this construction season, including some big spending in Lorain County.
The local total exceeds $33 million (that doesn’t count a few projects in this year’s budget that won’t actually start until 2018).
The price tag statewide falls just short of the $2.4 billion record set in 2015. In all, workers will pave 6,945 miles of Ohio roadway — enough for a two-lane road from Seattle, Wash., to Key West, Fla.
“Our transportation network is Ohio’s greatest man-made asset, and it is our duty to ensure it is in the best condition possible,” said ODOT director Jerry Wray. “That’s why 93 cents of every dollar we’re spending on roads and bridges this year will go to preservation.”
He noted a disturbing jump in traffic deaths over the last three years. Nearly 200 projects will be aimed at traffic signals, signage, and reworked intersections in danger areas.
Our readers play a big role in making roads safer — slowing down and moving over when possible in work zones can save lives.
Last year, there were 6,041 crashes in Ohio work zones, resulting in 28 deaths, 186 serious injuries, and 810 minor injuries.
The leading cause of those tragedies was drivers following too closely. Be sure to pay extra attention and follow signs in work zones.
Already under way here in the county is a $137,620 effort to improve signage in various spots along Interstate 480, Rt. 10, and Rt. 83. That process started at the beginning of 2017 and is expected to wrap up at the end of April.
Other Lorain County construction projects include:
• A $438,550 bridge replacement in progress on Folley Road near Columbia Middle School in Columbia Township. ODOT plans a 90-day detour with the project scheduled to wrap up by the end of September.
• $2.4 million in ongoing repairs to Rt. 83 through Avon and Avon Lake. This project, launched this past fall, is scheduled to end in late July.
• A $2.6 million rehabilitation of Rt. 301 from the Medina County line to US 20, passing through LaGrange, Spencer, and Penfield. ODOT lists the efforts as running now through Sept. 30 with traffic maintained by flaggers.
• Just shy of $3 million for resurfacing of Rt. 113 from the Erie County line through South Amherst and on to the Elyria city limits, starting May 1 and ending Sept. 30. Erie Blacktop will maintain traffic with flaggers.
• A $1.5 million bridge replacement at Crook Street over the east branch of the Black River in Grafton Township. It’s set to begin May 15 and end July 31 with a 90-day detour.
• A $14.4 million bridge replacement on Interstate 90 over Rt. 57 and West River Road near Midway Mall. Two lanes of traffic will be maintained in each direction from now to Sept. 30, 2018.
• A turn lane costing $1 million on Interstate 90 at the Rt. 83 exit ramps. Work is scheduled to begin April 17 and end June 1. Traffic will be maintained.
• $3.2 million worth of new blacktop on US 6 in Lorain from June 1 to Aug. 31.
• $5 million in resurfacing on Interstate 90 from just west of Rt. 611 to the Cuyahoga County line. The project will stretch from Sept. 1, 2017, to Aug. 18, 2018.
Note: Project start and end dates are estimates by ODOT and in our experience can shift drastically.