BRECKSVILLE, Ohio — Mid-March is typically when we see the swallows return to Capistrano, the buzzards return to Hinckley and the orange construction barrels return to Ohio highways. ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks was in Brecksville Wednesday to announce that the agency expects to invest a record $2.5 billion into more than 1,000 projects during the 2023 construction season.
A lot of these projects are made possible in part from Ohio’s nearly $10 billion share of Infrastructure and Jobs Act money coming from Washington.
"We have a record program this year, particularly here in North Central and Northeast Ohio, almost three-quarter-of-a-billion dollars is being invested because we can advance these projects now with that additional money,” Marchbanks said.
That's something Ohio has not always been able to do. Remember, just a decade ago it was announced that the start of the construction of Cleveland's second Innerbelt bridge was delayed from 2014 until this year, 2023, because the money simply wasn't there. It only ended up back on track and completed in 2016 when the Kasich Administration found a way to finance it by bonding against future Turnpike revenue.
“These investments are made possible by hard-working Ohioans who use these roads and bridges every day to get to work, school, medical appointments, and family vacations. It is our duty to ensure the resources entrusted to us are used wisely,” said Marchbanks in a statement from ODOT.
This year’s construction program includes 31 new projects that are considered “major” with a value above $10 million. There are 190 safety projects aimed directly at reducing serious or deadly crashes. More than 5,700 miles of pavement will be improved, and 823 bridges will be repaired or replaced.
This construction season isn’t all about building new roads. About 95 cents of every dollar is being invested back into preserving existing roads and bridges.
In Northeast Ohio, this year’s construction season includes 202 new projects and 45 projects continuing from the previous construction season for a total of $1.5 billion worth of active construction.
- Cuyahoga County: I-77 and Miller Rd. interchange improvements in the city of Brecksville. Start November 2022, end November 2024. Cost $36.3 million.
- Lake County: Pavement replacement on U.S. 20 between SR 2 and SR 528in Perry and Madison townships. Start fall 2023, end fall 2028. Cost $66.2 million.
- Lorain County: Construct two single lane roundabouts on the west leg of the SR 83/SR 303 intersectionin Grafton Township. Start December 2022, end June 2023. Cost $4 million.
- Medina County: Widen and reconstructed SR 18 from just west of Alber Dr. to Nettleton Rd. in the city of Medina, and Medina and Montville townships. Start April 2021, end June 2024. Cost $22.8 million.
- Summit County: Widening of I-77 between Everett Rd. and SR 21 in Bath and Richfield townships. Start September 2023, end July 2026. Cost $68.8 million
- Summit County: Akron Beltway Reconstruction, pavement replacement and addition of lanes on I-77 from just north of I-277/U.S. 224 to Lovers Lane, pavement replacement on I-76/I-77 from Princeton Ave. to the I-77/SR 261 interchange and pavement replacement on the I-76, I-77 and SR 8 at the Central Interchange in the city of Akron. Start June 2021, end July 2025. Cost $161 million.
- Summit County: SR 8 hi-level bridge replacement overthe Cuyahoga River Valley with two new structures in the city of Akron. Start July 2023, end June 2028. Cost $154.6 million.
- Stark County: Resurfacing on I-77 and U.S. 30 resurfacing and bridge replacement. Start September 2019, end May 2024. Cost $56.2 million.
- Wayne County: Pavement removal and replacement on SR 83 between U.S. 30 and Milltown Rd. in the city of Wooster. Start March 2022, end October 2023. Cost $30.6 million.