For informational/historical purposes only.

NEWS RELEASE

Ohio Department of Transportation Internet News Release
June 6, 2002

NEW STRETCH OF I-670 TO OPEN

(COLUMBUS)- Another piece of the Interstate 670 Apuzzle@ is nearly complete. When a $30-million section of I-670 opens next week, motorists will have a new four-lane highway between Grandview Avenue and State Route 315.

AThe last of the dinosaur-sized highway projects are coming to a close,@ said Jack Marchbanks, ODOT deputy director for central Ohio. AOver the past five years, ODOT has spent $400 million reconstructing and expanding key bottlenecks around the city including I-270, I-70 and I-71. Now only one major highway reconstruction and expansion project remains.@

The new stretch of I-670 will eventually connect with I-670 east of SR 315, which is currently under construction. By Fall 2003, motorists will be able to travel uninterrupted from the west side to the east side of Columbus on a newer, wider, safer I-670.

Crews will open the highway sometime during the weekend of June 14. By Monday morning rush hour on June 17, commuters will be able to access the new highway and ramps at:

$ I-670 east to SR 315 north or US 33/Dublin Road. Motorists can access SR 315 south by crossing the ramp intersection at US 33/Dublin Road.

$ SR 315 south to I-670 west. SR 315 north traffic can access I-670 west by heading west on US 33/Dublin Road. (This ramp may not open until the evening of June 17).

As traffic shifts to these new connections, motorists should experience congestion relief on portions of I-70 and SR 315. Traffic is expected to decrease by 10 to 25 percent on I-70 between I-670 and SR 315 and by 10 to 15 percent on SR 315 between I-70 and I-670.

But with the good news comes the bad.

When the highway opens, ODOT will close the Grandview Avenue ramps to and from I-670 for five months to reconstruct a 30-year-old bridge over the highway. Motorists will be detoured onto new I-670 where they can access Grandview Avenue by heading north on US 33/Dublin Road. In addition, Grandview Avenue will be closed from I-670 to McKinley Avenue.

Traffic will also shift to the inside lanes of I-670 between I-70 and Grandview Avenue for highway repairs. Two lanes will be maintained in each direction. All repairs will be completed by July 2003.

ATo reduce congestion through the work zone, crews will build temporary pavement in the median and shoulder areas so we can maintain two lanes in each direction at all times,@ Marchbanks said. AOhio is the only state in the nation that requires contractors to maintain two lanes on the interstate during peak hours."

Last year, ODOT spent $30 million extra on efforts to reduce congestion in work zones. In addition to temporary pavement, ODOT rewards and fines contractors for early and late completion, and often accelerates the pace of work to complete projects sooner.

The contractor must complete the Grandview Avenue ramps by mid-October or face fines of $3,500 per day.