project through Findlay on pace for 2020 completion
Project is in year three of four-year construction schedule
LIMA, Ohio (Thursday,
Aug. 8, 2019) – The most significant highway
construction project in the Findlay area’s recent history stands at
approximately 70% complete.
The Ohio Department of
Transportation’s (ODOT) $114 million reconstruction and widening of
Interstate 75 through Findlay and Hancock County has progressed well. The
project is in year three of a four-year construction schedule and is on
pace to be completed late next year.
The project is
reconstructing five miles of the existing four lanes of I-75 and
constructing an additional lane of travel in each direction from just
north of the county Road 313 overhead, south of the U.S. 68/state Route
15 interchange, to county Road 99.
In addition, the
project is replacing all mainline bridges on I-75, replaced the Harrison
Street overpass, redesigning and reconstructing the interchange between
U.S. 68/state Route 15 and Interstate 75, and redesigning and
reconstructing the interchange with U.S. 68/state Route 15 at Lima
understand why motorists feel the project seems to have taken long to
complete, but the scope of work involved is far beyond an ordinary
project. “This project is like rebuilding your whole house while you’re
still living in it,” said Chris Hughes, deputy director for ODOT District
1. “We are reconstructing and expanding interstate lanes, reconstructing
bridges and interchanges, all while maintaining four lanes of traffic the
majority of the time,” he said.
The original project
completion was spring of 2020 but is now more likely to be winter of
2020. “Given the scope of work, frigid winter temperatures, and
extraordinary rainfall we’ve experienced, we’re happy with only that much
of a delay,” said Hughes.
Here’s a look at
what’s been completed on the project, and what’s to come:
What's been completed
. . .
- Motorists will see a
shrinking work zone this year as the majority of the work from state
Route 12 to County Road 99 has been completed. Two existing lanes on
I-75 have been reconstructed and a new third lane has been added.
“Work is still occurring there, but later this summer we anticipate
all lanes will be open and the final pavement in place,” said
- The final layer of asphalt,
which was predicted not to be in place until the final year of the
project, is currently being placed on this section. “We would’ve
been paving very early in the spring next year when temperatures are
still low and frost can still occur, so we opted to complete that
now,” said Hughes.
- Significant structure
work has been completed. The reconstructed Harrison Street bridge
was completed last year. A new flyover ramp, which carries I-75
southbound traffic to U.S. 68/state Route 15, was completed last year
as well. The new flyover eliminated a loop ramp where numerous
rollover accidents occurred. The bridge on I-75 over the Blanchard
River has been reconstructed and only needs its final driving
- All ramps at the state
Route 12 and U.S. 224 interchanges have been reconstructed.
- A retaining wall along
the railroad within the U.S. 68/state Route 15 interchange area was
constructed and another along the mainline of U.S. 68 is under way.
- Thousands of feet of
drainage pipe have been installed.
- A service road for
properties along Lima Avenue near the headquarters of the Ohio
Department of Natural Resources is complete.
- The reconstruction of
Logan Avenue is complete.
- Noise walls have been
- A steel arch over an
abandoned railroad track north of the Blanchard River was installed.
Rather than removing the existing bridge over the tracks and filling
in beneath, ODOT opted to install the arch to keep the area open to
allow water to flow to mitigate the area’s propensity to flood.
- Earthwork is a major component
of the I-75 project. Roughly 800,000 of the approximately one
million yards of dirt needed have been moved.
What is under way . .
- Pavement reconstruction
on I-75 is occurring from the U.S. 68/state Route 15 interchange to
the south end of the project just north of the county Road 313
overhead. Traffic is currently in a contraflow pattern where both
northbound lanes are traveling on the southbound side in order to
reconstruct the existing northbound lanes.
- The pavement on U.S.
68/state Route 15 is under reconstruction from its interchange with
I-75 to the south end of the project. Traffic on U.S. 68/state Route
15 is currently shifted through this area and is bypassed around
work at Lima Avenue. The reconstruction of the lanes of U.S.
68/state Route 15 is expected to be completed this year.
- Construction of the
double roundabout interchange at Lima Avenue continues. A portion of
the roundabouts was opened to traffic this year and approximately
50% of the construction has been completed.
Construction of the bridge over Lima Avenue, which will carry
traffic to and from I-75 and U.S. 68/state Route 15, is under way.
Lima Avenue beneath I-75 is expected to reopen in December. Work in
the interchange area will continue once Lima Avenue reopens.
The new interchange design will create direct access to Lima Avenue
from I-75 without merging first onto U.S. 68/state Route 15.
- Earth work continues at
Lima Avenue, on U.S. 68 mainline, at the railroad, and in the area
of a new bridge which will carry traffic on U.S. 68/state Route 15
to I-75 southbound.
- Howard Street and River
Road are open but will close periodically for bridge painting and
for construction of drainage trenches and paving. Grading and
seeding of the roadsides and clearing of debris from the river near
the roads are yet to be completed.
In the final year of
the project in 2020 . . .
- Significant structure
work will take place in 2020. A bridge to carry I-75 over the
railroad, and a bridge to carry U.S. 68/state Route 15 traffic to
I-75 southbound are yet to be completed.
- The reconstruction of the
ramps from U.S. 68/state Route 15 to I-75 southbound, and from I-75
northbound to U.S. 68/state Route 15 will be completed.
- The final driving surface
of asphalt on I-75 will be placed from the U.S. 68/state Route 15
interchange to just north of the county Road 313 overhead.
- Final work at the Lima
Avenue interchange will occur. Landscaping of the roundabouts, final
grass seeding, and installation of street lights and a pedestrian sidewalk
at Lima Avenue will be completed.