New northbound I-75 lanes open in Dayton

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Big Flip: Traffic pattern change complete for Friday commute

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The Dayton Daily News has been covering every twist and turn in the reconstruction of Interstate I-75 through Dayton since this project began in 2012. We’ll continue to keep you informed as it heads for the finish line.

UPDATE @5 a.m.

The new northbound lanes on I-75 between Third and Main streets have opened.

FIRST REPORT

The second biggest event of this year’s construction season will arrive Thursday night on Interstate 75 in downtown Dayton as highway workers move barriers to switch drivers to newly constructed northbound lanes.

The biggest event of the season will happen when work on the massive highway project is completed later this year.

The transition to the new traffic lanes won’t come without some inconvenience. The bulk of the activity will be between Third and Main streets, and many lanes and exit ramps will be closed in that area as workers move barriers.

Some ramp closures will extend into early Saturday.

“What drivers need to know is they will still have the same number of lanes, but in a different pattern,” said Ohio Department of Transportation spokesperson Mandi Dillon. “They need to stay alert.”

Concrete barriers on the southbound side of the highway will be moved so that two lanes switch to the newly completed northbound side. Those lanes will move to the easternmost side of that section of highway — the lanes furthest from the median.

The changeover will begin around 8 p.m. Thursday with lane closures. Exit ramp closures should begin an hour later, Dillon said.

If all goes as expected, drivers will encounter the new traffic pattern Friday morning, Dillon said. Highway workers will then begin finishing up some work on the highway’s inside lanes and ramps.

The speed limit in the construction zone is 45 mph.

When the highway work is completed — that could happen as soon as September — there will be three continuous lanes going north and south as well as long ramps into downtown. The ramps should eliminate the need for tricky lane-hopping to get on or off the highway.

Dillon said the project is ahead of schedule. If it’s completed by Sept. 1, contractor Kokosing Construction Company could earn a $3 million bonus.

“We continue to focus on the early completion of this complex urban corridor modernization,” said Scott LeBlanc, ODOT’s project engineer. “It is encouraging to see some of the fruits of this effort, and we look forward to realizing the overall goals of the project as a whole.”

The final phase of the multi-year project began in 2012. By the time the work on I-75 is completed, $300 million will have been spent on five miles of interstate over nine years.

Here are the details for lane and exit closures for the shift that starts on Thursday:

• I-75 north between Edwin C. Moses Boulevard and State Route 4, overnight lane closures June 2 at 8 p.m. through June 3 at 6 a.m. One northbound lane will remain open at all times.

• I-75 south ramp to U.S. 35 west, overnight ramp closure June 3 at 9 p.m. through June 4 at 5 a.m. The official detour: I-75 south to Edwin C. Moses Boulevard U-turn lane to I-75 north to US 35 east to Main Street to Ludlow Street to U.S. 35 west.

• I-75 south ramp to U.S. 35 east, ramp closed June 3 at 9 p.m. through June 4 at 5 a.m. The official detour: I-75 south to Edwin C. Moses Boulevard U-turn lane to I-75 north to U.S. 35 east.

• Main Street ramp to I-75 south, overnight ramp closure June 3 at 9 p.m. through June 4 at 5 a.m. The official detour is: Main Street to I-75 north to Stanley Avenue to I-75 south.

• SR 4 south ramp to I-75 south, ramp closure June 3 at 9 p.m. through June 4 at 5 a.m. The official detour: SR 4 to I-75 north to Stanley Avenue to I-75 south.

• I-75 south between SR 4 and Edwin C. Moses Boulevard, overnight lane closures June 3 from 8 p.m. through June 4 at 6 a.m. This will become a double lane closure between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. One southbound lane will remain open at all times.

• I-75 North ramp to SR 4, overnight ramp closed June 2 at 9 p.m. through June 3 at 5 a.m. The official detour: I-75 north to Stanley Avenue to I-75 south to SR 4.

• I-75 North ramp to Main Street, ramp closed June 2 at 9 p.m. through June 3 at 5 a.m. The official detour: I-75 north to Stanley Avenue to I-75 south to Main Street.

• U.S. 35 west ramp to I-75 North, ramp closed June 2 at 9 p.m. through June 3 at 5 a.m. The official detour: U.S. 35 west to I-75 south to Edwin C. Moses Boulevard U-Turn lane to I-75 north.