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Completion of Interstate 75 in Lima top accomplishment
ODOT District 1 completes year of highway, intersection reconstructions

LIMA (Thursday, December 29, 2016) The completion of a five-year project to reconstruct Interstate 75 is among the notable accomplishments for the Ohio Department of Transportation District 1 in 2016.
 
The reconstruction of Interstate 75 through Lima and Allen County began in 2012. The $136 million project was completed this fall.
 
ODOT Director Jerry Wray and ODOT District 1 Deputy Director Kirk Slusher led a dedication in September to recognize the project’s completion and the significant role Interstate 75 plays in the economic vitality of the region.
 
The district made significant progress in 2016 toward readying another major highway project for construction. Plan preparation, purchasing of right of way and utility relocation are nearly complete for the reconstruction and widening of Interstate 75 through Findlay and Hancock County.
 
The project will reconstruct the existing lanes and add a third lane of travel in each direction from just south of the state Route 15/U.S. 68 interchange to County Road 99 north of Findlay. The contract for the project will go out for bid in late winter with construction expected to begin in the spring.
 
“The work it takes during the development phases to prepare a project like this is not generally known by the public, but its importance cannot be understated,” said Slusher. “Because of the diligence of our employees, the Hancock I-75 project was developed so it could advance to construction a year early if funds were available,” adding the project at one time was scheduled to be built in 2018.
 
Other notable contract highway improvement accomplishments in 2016 include the reconstruction of U.S. 127 (Washington Street) in Van Wert, Van Wert County; the reconstruction and widening of state Route 309 from Eastown Road through Elida to U.S. Route 30, Allen County; and the reconstruction and realignment of the state Route 117/501 intersection, Allen County.
 
The district’s own maintenance forces completed significant, large-scale projects during the year:
 
·        The ODOT Wyandot County maintenance garage partnered with the Wyandot County Soil and Water Conservation District to improve drainage on state Route 53 south of McCutchenville. The project replaced a basin on each side of the highway, upgraded the drainage pipe to a 24-inch size and upgraded the overflow.
·        The Putnam County maintenance garage performed significant drainage projects in 2016. The garage reconstructed the drainage along state Routes 108 and 15 near Brookhill Center Industries by installing a 24-inch culvert pipe beneath state Route 15 and six catch basins beneath state Route 108, and installing 850 feet of drainage tile. An additional 4,900 feet of drainage tile and six catch basins were installed along state Route 696 north of the Allen County line.
·        A safety concern at state Route 696 at Grismore Road in Allen County was addressed by the district’s roadway services crew with the installation of 300 feet of guard rail to keep traffic from accessing the highway via a former connector road. The guard rail used is the new state standard type which is taller than its predecessor to accommodate the trend in larger vehicles.
·        The ODOT Hancock County maintenance garage performed a chip and seal operation on 16 miles of U.S. Route 30 westbound in Hancock County to seal the pavement against moisture. The operation was performed in the eastbound lanes the previous year. The U.S. 30 projects represent the first time this maintenance method was used this extensively in the district on a four-lane priority route.
The following stats represent work performed by ODOT District 1’s own highway forces in 2016:
·        Used 13,940  tons of asphalt in pavement repair
·        Chipped and sealed 180 lane miles of state highway (1.6 million square yards)
·        Placed 28,609 tons of berm stone
·        Repaired 12,926 feet of guardrail
·        Used 44,355 gallons of material to seal pavement cracks
·        Applied 189 miles of traffic paint
·        Repaired 9,575 signs
·        Sealed 8,625 square yards of bridge decks
·        Repaired 4,114 square feet of bridge deck
·        Installed 9,225 feet of culvert pipe

Other 2016 accomplishments noted by Slusher:
 
·        Significant upgrades to the district’s main office on McCullough Street were completed, including new landscaping, clear designation of public entrances and construction of secured parking areas for state vehicles.
·        The district began construction of a full-service maintenance garage in Paulding County and a maintenance outpost in Hicksville. Both facilities are nearing completion and are expected to be placed into service early in 2017.
·        A new data-driven method for determining the yearly work plan for the district was implemented. The method is part of a statewide initiative to more effectively use state resources.
·        The district’s fleet of tandem trucks was increased by six this year. Of the 127 trucks in the district, 37 percent are now tandem axle which provides more material capacity and efficiency to the work force. The goal is to eventually have 40 percent of the fleet feature tandem axle trucks.
·        The district hired 17 individuals into the apprenticeship program in 2016. The program provides participants with the opportunity to earn a CDL while employed with ODOT and a chance for an available full-time position with the department. Of those hired into the program this year, 15 are assisting in snow and ice operations this winter.

The Ohio Department of Transportation maintains the state's largest man-made asset--the transportation system. ODOT's mission is to provide the safe and easy movement of people and goods from place to place. As a $2.8 billion per year enterprise, ODOT invests the bulk of its resources in system preservation through maintenance, construction and snow and ice operations.
 
The environmental review, consultation, and other actions required by applicable federal environmental laws for this project are being, or have been, carried out by ODOT pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327 and a Memorandum of Understanding dated December 11, 2015, and executed by FHWA and ODOT.
 
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For more information contact:
Rhonda Pees, Public Information Officer, at (419) 999-6803
or email
D01.PIO@dot.state.oh.us