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ODOT reflects on accomplishments of 2014
Opening of major section of Interstate 75 in Lima marks significant milestone
LIMA (Monday, January 26, 2015) The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) District 1 has observed special times in its history.
The completion of the relocation and expansion of U.S. 30 in Hancock, Wyandot and Crawford counties in 2008, and of U.S. 24 in Defiance, Paulding and Henry counties in 2009 are certainly notable.
But the district has never rebuilt an interstate.
In 2012, ODOT District 1 began the first of three projects to reconstruct the existing lanes of Interstate 75 and reconstruct all interchanges and bridges in the city of Lima and Allen County from just north of Ohio 81 near Stewart Road to the Auglaize County line.
“The reconstruction of Interstate 75 is not a typical highway construction project,” said Kirk Slusher, Ohio Department of Transportation District 1 deputy director. “The accomplishment of planning, designing and constructing a project of this scope should not go unheralded,” he said.
With two years left to go before the third and final phase of the $150 million project is complete, transportation officials are reflecting on what has been achieved so far on the reconstruction of Interstate 75 in Allen County and other significant projects completed in 2014.
Slusher noted some of the most significant milestones of the Interstate 75 reconstruction project to this point:
  • The northern section from Ohio 81 to Fourth Street was completely opened to traffic late last fall. Reconstructed interchanges at Ohio 81, Ohio 117/309 and Fourth Street are operating with the latest in traffic signal technology.
  • The safety upgrade of Ohio 117/309 from east of Ohio 117 to the Allen County fairgrounds completed its first full year of operation in 2014. The project added a raised-curb median, constructed U-turn locations, upgraded or installed traffic signals and consolidated driveways. A similar project on the west side of Lima, completed in 2012, resulted in a 45 percent reduction in injury accidents.
  • The “Real American Strength” slogan, signature gears logo and blue color denoting Lima and the Allen County region are displayed on the interchanges and bridges. ODOT worked closely with city and county representatives to include its branding initiative in the project to define the area to motorists along the Interstate 75 corridor.

To the department’s knowledge, this is the only area in the state where an aesthetic theme was used throughout a region on several structures on an interstate (view video regarding the branding effort between ODOT and the Lima region:

Other significant highway projects completed during 2014 within District 1:
  • The reconstruction of the U.S. 224 interchange with Interstate 75 in Findlay was completed late in 2014. The $10.6 million project, constructed by Miller Brothers, Archbold, was one of the first projects in the state to be completed with revenue from Governor Kasich’s Jobs and Transportation program which leverages future funds from the Ohio Turnpike to rebuild the state’s infrastructure and create construction jobs.
  • The replacement of a culvert on Ohio 18 in Defiance replaced a deteriorated sandstone arch culvert, constructed in 1937, with a box culvert measuring 18 feet wide by 10 feet high. The project extended the culvert to twice its original length to approximately 126 feet long. The project bid amount was 711,000.
  • Work completed last year by contractors within the district totaled $93.9 million in highway improvements which included $15.8 million for resurfacing of approximately 192 lane miles of highways, $11.6 million for the replacement or rehabilitation of nine bridges, and $5.5 million in culvert, slide repair and miscellaneous maintenance work.
  • The current I-75 reconstruction project, being performed by Beaver Excavating of Canton, represents $60.8 million of the total construction program amount for 2014.

In addition to those projects completed by contractors, ODOT District 1’s own highway forces completed the following during 2014:
  • Used 15,000 tons of asphalt in pavement repair
  • Chipped and sealed 90 lane miles of state highway
  • Placed 17,000 tons of berm stone
  • Repaired 8,000 feet of guardrail
  • Used 15,000 gallons of material to seal pavement cracks
  • Applied 180 miles of traffic paint
  • Repaired 9,000 signs
  • Sealed 15,000 square yards of bridge decks
  • Repaired 2,000 square feet of bridge deck
  • Installed 6,000 feet of culvert pipe

“These dollars and stats represent an investment in keeping our pavements and bridges among the highest rated in the state. We will continue to be an example of excellence in government through well planned construction and maintenance practices,” said Slusher.
For more on the reconstruction of Interstate 75 and other projects upcoming in the area visit the ODOT District 1 website at
Ohio’s highways are essential to keeping and creating new jobs. With a mission to provide easy movement of people and goods from place to place, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is responsible for maintaining one of the largest transportation networks in the nation. Guided by ethical principles and accountability, ODOT works to improve safety, enhance travel and advance economic development. As a $2.8 billion enterprise, the department wisely invests in its core services of snow and ice removal, annual construction program and highway maintenance operations.
For more information contact:
Rhonda Pees, Public Information Officer, at (419) 999-6803
or email