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Continued, dangerous flooding on I-90 causes concerns

Posted at 4:13 PM, Jan 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-22 16:30:27-05

News 5 has covered flooding issues on a stretch of Interstate 90 near the McKinley exit for years — issues that can be dangerous. 

A couple years ago, a driver slammed into a Lakewood police cruiser after hydroplaning near the exit.

On Jan. 12 of this year, the McKinley ramp was closed for hours due to dangerous high waters pooled on the highway. 

On Monday, water was an issue again for morning commuters. 

So is the weather to blame, or is there a bigger issue here? News 5 took questions to the Ohio Department of Transportation. 

In the past, News 5 has been told drainage here has to be constantly maintained. 

ODOT says structurally the drains are fine — they just require a lot of maintenance.

When News 5 asked if the drains need to be replaced, ODOT said that would be more of a matter of upkeep and less about the way they are built.

"No, they're structurally ok, but if the cleaning is too much for our crews to handle they may need to call in a contractor," ODOT spokesperson Marissa McDaid said.

McDaid said there's no design flaw on this stretch of I-90, it's just a problematic area when weather hits. 

"You have water draining this way, westbound in the eastbound lanes and also eastbound, so this blue area might be where you see the standing water in the shoulder there because both directions are going to this one pipe. Anytime you get debris or calcified materials, it will start to back up."

ODOT crews spent most of Monday on that stretch of road, cleaning the drains and doing their best to keep the road dry. 

"They have to keep at it until the water is completely gone," McDaid said.

Per an ODOT update Monday night, crews were able to get a snake through the drain near McKinley and dislodge some hubcaps, various debris and calcified deposits from the median drain.