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"Our interstate highway system is feeling the aches and pains associated with old age...Over the past 20 years, Ohio's traffic has risen by at least 40 percent resulting in the 5th highest traffic volume in the nation."

-Jerry Wray, ODOT Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 17, 1998
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS

ODOT RELEASES INFORMATION ON 1998 INTERSTATE CONSTRUCTION

(COLUMBUS) - It is a familiar sign of spring we have come to recognize all too well: construction. As the weather warms, the Ohio Department of Transportation is mobilizing equipment and manpower from around the state to repair and rebuild Ohio's aging highway system.

"March typically marks the beginning of construction season for Ohio," said ODOT Director Jerry Wray. "To reduce its impact, we need to begin educating motorists now, familiarizing them with where construction zones exist and providing tips for avoiding delays."

To aid motorists, ODOT today kicked off a statewide communication effort, which included the release of its 1998 interstate construction brochure. The brochure provides a map and information on construction projects expected to resume or begin across the state this year.

"Our interstate highway system is feeling the aches and pains associated with old age," said Wray. "When it was first built some 30 years ago, it was new and full of vigor, built to carry traffic capacity that far exceeded the number of vehicles operating at the time. Over the past 20 years, Ohio's traffic has risen by at least 40 percent resulting in the 5th highest traffic volume in the nation."

Wray said reconstruction is necessary to keep traffic moving on the interstate for the next several decades.

Interstate construction expected to have the greatest impact on motorists statewide includes:

  • I-75 in Lucas and Wood counties
  • I-75 Brent Spence Bridge over the Ohio River in Cincinnati
  • I-71 in Cuyahoga County from Ridge Road to I-480
  • I-90 Innerbelt Bridge in Cleveland
  • I-270 Northern Outerbelt in Columbus
  • I-70 from Zanesville to I-77
  • I-77 Summit County from SR 214 to Arlington Road.

ODOT urges motorists to plan ahead for construction to minimize or avoid delays. Tips for travel include:

  • Learn where construction zones exist
  • If possible, travel during non-peak hours of the day and avoid morning and evening rush hours
  • Choose an alternate route if necessary, and
  • Allow additional time for delays

Ridesharing, carpooling and vanpooling are also practical and economical ways to make traveling easier. If you need help finding someone to share a ride, call your local rideshare agency or 1-800-VAN-RIDE. You can also contact your local transit system for bus schedule information.

The interstate construction brochure is available at rest areas, AAA or by calling (614) 466-8480. For additional road construction information, refer to the ODOT major construction page or contact the Ohio Highway Patrol at 1-888-264-7623.