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Beware of interstate construction

Already thinking about summer travel? Well, plan ahead for construction on Ohio’s interstates, the Ohio Department of Transportation says.

Thursday, March 29, 2001

Already thinking about summer travel? Well, plan ahead for construction on Ohio’s interstates, the Ohio Department of Transportation says.

The department’s $1.2 billion construction budget covers a wide range of projects this year, including more than 80 major interstate projects, ODOT officials said.

As far as hot spots for delays or construction-related traffic slowdowns, it’s likely to be Interstate 77 north of I-70, and Interstate 75 from Lima on through Toledo, ODOT spokesperson Kathleen Fuller said.

"Franklin County’s going to get hit with I-71 and I-70 construction," Mrs. Fuller said, adding there will also be a lot of construction between Marietta and Columbus.

"If you’re traveling on I-77 it’s going to move, but the big hindrance will be when you get into Cuyahoga County because there are so many other projects," she said. "In the southern part of the state, we won’t see as many projects."

Also, vehicles over 7-feet wide are prohibited on I-70 through Columbus from now until Nov. 30. Vehicles are detoured onto I-270. In addition, there will be some construction on U.S. 23 this year.

The heavy construction season begins about mid-spring after asphalt becomes available.

To help people plan their travel time, ODOT has issued its annual interstate construction brochure, which details the major interstate projects.

The brochure is available at rest areas on U.S. 23 and U.S. 35, as well as other traveling stops, throughout the state.

"The information in the brochure is designed to help motorists both plan ahead for trips and familiarize the community with the projects ODOT will be performing in their area," District 9 deputy director John Hagen said. "With a number of important projects this year, the construction brochure is a good item to stash in the glove box for reference before hitting the highway for spring or summer travel."

Interstate construction expected to have the greatest impact on motorists statewide includes:

– Interstate 71 in Delaware, Franklin, Hamilton, Richland and Ashland counties.

– Interstate 75 in Montgomery and Hancock counties.

– Interstate 77 in Noble, Stark and Guernsey counties.

– Interstate 70 in Franklin, Guernsey and Belmont counties.

– Interstate 90 in Cuyahoga and Lake counties.

– Interstate 480 in Cuyahoga County.