ODOT’s 2016 Construction Season:
Transportation for Today and Tomorrow
Projects to focus on safety, efficiency and economic impact
COLUMBUS (Tuesday, March 29, 2016) – The Ohio Department of Transportation will invest $2.1 billion in the state’s transportation network this construction season.
The 2016 program is driven by two key components: addressing major critical infrastructure needs today, and introducing an enhanced, data-driven business strategy for maintaining the 43,000 miles of roads and 14,000 bridges on the state system.
THE 2016 PROGRAM
ODOT will deliver more than 1,100 projects across the state in 2016. Altogether, they are designed to improve the condition of roads and bridges, increase safety, and make the transportation of people and goods more efficient.
“We’re charged with the care of Ohio’s largest man-made asset—the transportation network,” said ODOT Director Jerry Wray. “We take this very seriously, because investments in our infrastructure are vital to Ohio’s economic growth and development. By maintaining a safe, reliable, and efficient system, we help to create the environment for more jobs, easier commerce, and a stronger Ohio—for today and for tomorrow.”
Of the 1,100 projects in 2016, 157 will focus specifically on safety, at a cost of $256.4 million. The program includes $417.5 million for improving the condition of more than 1,167 bridges and $629.3 million for 6,485 miles of pavement.
ODOT is also adding capacity to the system where it is most needed today, after careful planning, research and project development. This year, the state will invest $207.1 million—or approximately 10 percent of the overall construction budget—in expanding roads to ease current congestion.
The 2016 construction program features 27 projects valued over $10 million, with a combined value of $769 million. It also represents a fourth consecutive year of near-record dollars invested, made possible in large part by Governor Kasich’s Jobs & Transportation Plan. From 2011 to 2016, ODOT has committed roughly $12.5 billion across 5,934 projects—the largest overall transportation investment in Ohio’s history.
As it has for decades, ODOT is committing roughly 90 percent of this year’s construction budget to activities related to taking care of existing roads and bridges. This year, the department is introducing an enhanced three-part strategy to strengthen its preservation efforts.
The first component is data, which ODOT gathers and analyzes through advanced software systems. Following a decade of refinement, the data now drives decisions related to the second component: a range of preservation treatments such as asphalt, microsurfacing, and bridge cleaning among many others. The third component, collaboration, unifies the work plans of ODOT’s planning and maintenance divisions, creates greater statewide consistency, and depends on strong partnerships between ODOT and its business contractors.
“In order to take care of our transportation network, we have to accurately measure it. That information helps us determine the right actions to take, at the right time, and in the right places, for everything from replacing a culvert on a two-lane state road to adding lanes to an interstate,” said Director Wray. “With greater consistency and collaboration across the state, we are making sound business decisions on behalf of Ohio. Once again, this is for the benefit of our transportation system now and into the future.”
ODOT’s preservation plan is estimated to create savings that will redirect approximately $300 million back into safety, capacity and preservation projects over the next six years.
AROUND THE CLEVELAND REGION
Interstate 271 Widening, Cuyahoga County:
This project widens I-271 in southern Cuyahoga County. The need for this project was identified as far back as March 2002. This section of I-271 was originally built in the early 1960’s and traffic volumes have increased to over 120,000 vehicles per day. The primary purpose of this project is to relieve congestion along I-271 and the secondary goal is to improve safety. Late-summer of this year, work will begin on this $117 million project to, not only widen I-271, but also replace the existing pavement, lighting, signing, noise walls and more. The project is expected to be complete in 2020.
Interstate 77 Widening, Cuyahoga County:
This project widens I-77 to three lanes in each direction in southern Cuyahoga County. Work is anticipated to begin this fall.
Cleveland’s Lakefront West, Cuyahoga County:
Work continues on the roadway reconstruction of Cleveland’s West Shoreway which is working to improve access to Lake Erie. The $41.5 million investment is the third and final phase of the Lakefront West Project and is set to be complete in the spring of 2018. Visit www.lakefrontwest.transportation.ohio.gov.
Cleveland’s Opportunity Corridor, Cuyahoga County:
Cleveland’s Opportunity Corridor is moving forward quickly. The Opportunity Corridor is a planned boulevard that will run from East 55th Street at Interstate 490 to East 105th Street in University Circle. The second section of the three-section project was recently awarded and work on that section is expected to begin this spring. The first section of the new corridor continues with the reconstruction of a portion of East 105th Street on Cleveland’s near-east side. Visit www.opportunitycorridor.transportation.ohio.gov.
Cleveland’s Innerbelt Modernization Plan & George V. Voinovich Bridge, Cuyahoga County:
The Cleveland Innerbelt Modernization Plan is focused on improving safety, reducing congestion and traffic delays, and modernizing interstate travel through Downtown Cleveland. Replacing the old I-90 “Innerbelt Bridge” with a pair of new structures named in honor of statesman Voinovich is part of this plan. The first of the pair is already complete and second new George V. Voinovich Bridge is over 80 percent complete and expected to open to traffic this fall. Visit www.Innerbelt.org.
A CALL FOR WORK ZONE SAFETY
As a consequence of record number of work sites, ODOT has seen an alarming rise in crashes and fatalities in Ohio’s work zones, where drivers and passengers are more than twice as likely as workers to be victims. Last year, Ohio recorded 6,035 work zone crashes, the highest number in a decade. Those crashes resulted in 1,150 injuries and 30 deaths.
A work zone may be a mile of orange barrels, or a single vehicle parked on the side of the road with flashing lights. Whatever the case, Ohio’s Move Over law requires drivers to slow down and, if they can, move over a lane to give roadside workers safe space to perform their jobs.