State and Local
Officials Break Ground for the Interstate 80 Meander Bridge Project
13) - With shovels in hand, state and local officials today marked the
beginning of construction on the Interstate 80/Meander bridge
replacement and widening project in
Austintown Township. The project
is the largest single project breaking ground across the state this
Gordon Proctor said the $86.7 million project is a prime example of
state and local officials working together for the benefit of the
community and traveling public in mind, ODOT worked with local
officials and emergency responders to design this project to achieve
everyones goals, Proctor said. I am proud to say that with
everyones cooperation, we were able to design a project that will
improve safety for the traveling public as well as for the drinking
water in the reservoir below.
consists of widening I-80 between the Ohio Turnpike and the State
Route 46/State Route 11 interchange, widening and reconstructing new,
2,500-foot twin bridges over the reservoir, and installing a unique
spill containment system to protect the drinking water, the first of
its kind in the state.
stretch of highway has one of the largest truck traffic volumes in the
state. Trucks make up 30 percent of the 55,000 vehicles that travel
I-80 daily, making the additional lanes on I-80 and wider shoulders on
the bridges over the reservoir vital to reducing congestion.
on the move during construction is a top priority, said Mohamed
Darwish, ODOT District 4 Deputy Director. To do this, ODOT will
maintain two lanes of traffic in each direction on I-80 by building
extra pavement and shifting traffic to provide room for crews to
reconstruct the roadway.
While the impact
to motorists will be minimized, drivers need to continue to be aware
and cautious when driving through the work zone as lanes will be
narrowed and traffic patterns will change, Darwish said.
The reconstruction of I-80 and the twin bridges is indicative of
projects supported by Governor Bob Tafts Jobs and Progress Plan. The
Jobs and Progress Plan is a $5 billion, 10-year plan to rebuild
Ohios highway network, address
high-crash and congested locations and complete the states rural
I-80/Meander project has been in ODOTs plans for several years, it is
only through the increased funding provided to northeast Ohio by the
Jobs and Progress Plan that ODOT is able to construct the project now.
Over the next decade, northeast Ohio will continue to see a major
investment into its roadways as ODOT advances almost $3 billion worth
of improvements in the region with projects like this.