Columbus police say Ikea crowds could force highway ramp closures

Posted at 11:06 AM, May 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-22 11:06:27-04

Columbus police say massive crowds for a new Ikea opening could force the closure of multiple Interstate 71 exit ramps.

The Columbus Dispatch reports the opening of the Swedish home retailer in northern Columbus could draw up to 15,000 customers a day during its first week.

An Ikea spokesman says it's standard for the company to work with local authorities on potential traffic issues. The store opens June 7.

Lt. Paul Weiner manages traffic for Columbus police. He says the ramps would be closed on a short-term basis similar to closures for Ohio State football games.

But he says closing the ramps is a worse-case scenario.

Officials say businesses in the area should tell their employees to work from home during Ikea's opening week.