CLEVELAND — The Ohio Department of Transportation is gearing up for another busy construction season.
More than 270 projects will be active across 17 counties in Northeast Ohio. Those counties include Ashland, Ashtabula, Crawford, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Huron, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Richland, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, and Wayne counties.
Forty-five of those projects are safety improvements that include Safe Routes to School projects, intersection safety, sidewalk installations, ramp improvements, and more.
A few of the safety projects that will take place this year include:
- Intersection improvements at U.S. 30 & SR 89 and U.S. 30 at SR 603, Ashland County
- New deceleration lane I-71 south exit to SR 176, Cuyahoga County
- Traffic safety improvements on SR 87, SR 88, SR 168, SR 528, and SR 608, Geauga County
- Roundabout construction SR 82 and Chamberlain Rd., Portage County
- Roundabout construction SR 619 and McCallum Rd., Stark County
ODOT credits the increase in the motor fuel tax that went into effect back in 2019 for keeping projects on schedule despite the drop in traffic in 2020.
The Valley View Bridge replacement project is still on track to be completed by 2024, meanwhile, the Opportunity Corridor project remains on schedule with I-490 between I-77 and East 55th street scheduled to reopen by the fall of 2021.
Highlighting new construction this year is the State Route 18 widening project in Medina County which has been in the works for nearly 20 years. The original planning study for this corridor began in 2003, with approval to move forward in 2005.
The work will happen between Alber Road and Nettleton Road. The $24 million project will be completed by 2024. The goal of the project is to improve safety by increasing capacity and decreasing congestion to improve the flow of traffic along the stretch.
Across Northeast Ohio there will be 104 roadway maintenance projects that include a new roadway, intersection improvements, widening and resurfacing and 60 bridge projects ranging from minor repairs and painting to complete replacement.
ODOT is stressing safety to drivers as construction season begins. There were 4,536 crashes in work zones in 2020 resulting in 18 deaths.
So far in 2021, ODOT crews have been hit 52 times in work zones.
“What we do in our vehicles, the decisions we make impact lives,” said ODOT District 3 Deputy Director Bob Weaver. “Over the years we’ve designed cars to be safer, we’ve designed our roads to be safer. But there’s still fatalities on our roads and they continue to increase.”