Ohio road construction projects to cost $2.3B

LISA POWELL/STAFF
LISA POWELL/STAFF

Ohio will spend more than $2 million on road work this construction season, including the final touches on the Interstate 75 project through downtown Dayton that began in 2012.

The Ohio Department of Transportation will invest $2.3 billion into the state’s bridges and roads, slightly less than the record $2.4 billion spent in 2014 and 2015. Approximately 1,098 projects will be conducted, including 26 major projects.

More than 6,945 miles of roadway will be paved this year, according to the state. ODOT said 191 projects are aimed at making roadways in Ohio safer, adding additional signage and signals to reconfigured intersections.

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“Since Gov. John Kasich took office, we have invested an unprecedented $14 billion in Ohio’s infrastructure,” said ODOT Director Jerry Wray. “Our transportation network is Ohio’s greatest man-made asset, and it is our duty to ensure it is in the best condition possible. That’s why 93 cents of every dollar we’re spending on roads and bridges this year will go to preservation.”

Several areas in the Miami Valley have road projects that will involve lane closures or detours, according to the department. Shawn Anverse, an ODOT transportation administrator, said three majors projects will finish up in the nine counties covered in District 7: Mercer, Miami, Darke, Champaign, Logan, Montgomery, Clark, Shelby and Auglaize.

“The three we will be completing this year is obviously the lane-add in downtown Dayton on I-75, then we have a major bridge undertaking in Miami County at I-75 and County Road 25-A,” he said. “Those will both be finished this year. Then this season, the major project for District 7 will be the I-675 bridge over I-70.”

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The I-675 bridge over I-70 in Clark County will start construction this season, and a lot of projects will be finished. And, several bridges will be under construction on I-70, according to Anverse.

“There’s a lot of paving happening this year in District 7,” he said.

Montgomery County, one of the larger counties in the state, has 24 projects scheduled for this year. Those projects total more than an estimated $195 million in costs. The projects will require some nightly lane closures on I-70, among other detours and traffic disruptions on roads and highways across the county.

There will be six projects in Darke County on various routes, including U.S. 36, Ohio 721, Ohio 722, Ohio 571, and U.S. 127. The cost exceed $6.3 million. Miami County will undergo 12 projects — including several bridge replacements and infrastructure improvements to I-75 — that will cost nearly $19 million.

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Further south in District 8 — which covers Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Greene, Hamilton, Preble and Warren counties — 124 projects will be conducted this year that will cost around $457 million. A majority of the larger projects will be focused in Hamilton County, where Cincinnati is located, a spokesman said.

In 2016, there were 6,041 crashes in work zones that resulted in 28 deaths. Approximately 186 people were injured and 810 sustained minor injuries. The top cause of work zone crashes was vehicles following too close, according to a statement.

As projects progress, ODOT officials are encouraging drivers to use the department’s OHGO app to keep up-to-date with traffic situations. The department said drivers should pay attention to signs and directions in work zones to ensure the safety of both drivers and construction workers.

“We have seen an increase in the number of traffic deaths in Ohio over the last three years, and we are working hard to reverse this disturbing trend,” Wray said.

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BY THE NUMBERS:

• $2.33 billion in total costs this year

• 191 safety projects underway in 2017

• 6,945 miles of street paved this year

Source: Ohio Department of Transportation

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