A lane-widening project on Interstate 70 is expected to wrap up several months ahead of schedule, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation.
Originally slated for completion in July 2017, officials now anticipate finishing the project by this time next year.
“They’ve done a marvelous job of coordinating everything and moving the project forward,” said William Singer, economic development director for the city of Englewood. He said fair weather conditions have allowed crews to accomplish more in a short amount of time.
Concrete barriers and orange barrels have marked lane closures between Airport Access Road and Ohio 48 in Englewood since the spring of 2014.
The construction zone, traveled by nearly 70,000 vehicles every day, has seen a handful of serious accidents in that time. In June, a construction worker was hit and killed in a chain-reaction crash near the Taywood exit.
“I quit taking the highway because of all the construction,” said Englewood resident Kim Morgan. “I go down Main Street like everybody else.”
She is not the only one. Many drivers use Ohio 48 as a detour around I-70, creating congestion on Englewood’s main artery.
“It’s a nightmare,” said Singer. “There have been occasions where the city is very difficult to maneuver through.”
Singer said the construction has burdened stores and restaurants at the intersection of 48 and I-70, including a newly renovated Meijer and several eateries nearby.
When the I-70 project is complete, Singer said, the city of Englewood plans to add additional landscaping and signage off the highway to increase traffic to restaurants and businesses.