Spring has arrived, though it may not feel like it, and constructions crews are rolling out all around Ohio to begin nearly 1,000 road improvement projects. The Ohio Department of Transportation is touting this as a big year to improve connectivity.
ODOT director Jerry Wray says these projects, which total $2.3 billion, will make Ohio’s roads safer, less congested and help connect people.
“That transportation system is the lifeblood of the community and if we do our job well we improve everybody’s quality of life,” Wray says.
Gathered in a large, open garage, ODOT officials stand next to presentations that explain the elaborate construction projects they’re working on, like a big budget science fair.
Franklin County boasts 20 projects, with another 62 in surrounding counties, include widening Route 33 and I-270. ODOT officials will also begin work on the “SmartLane” pilot project on I-670.
This year should also mark the conclusion of repairs on I-70 and I-71 downtown, and the construction of the Grant Avenue bridge, as well as the continuation of work on the South Side Mega Fix.
Other projects around the state include the Opportunity Corridor on Cleveland’s east side and improvements on I-75 in Cincinnati, Findlay and Toledo. ODOT says it will repair or replace 5,645 miles of pavement and work on 1,040 bridges.
Wray says he understands the inconvenience but urges drivers to go slow when crews are at work.