ODOT: Plan Ahead and Don’t Be Late for Thanksgiving Dinner
Online Help for Ohio Drivers to Avoid Traffic Tie-Ups
COLUMBUS (Monday, November 22, 2010) - With national estimates predicting a boost in travelers this Thanksgiving holiday - and a new statewide safety analysis showing a rise in dangerous car crashes - the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is offering online help to Ohio drivers to avoid traffic tie-ups and get to Thanksgiving dinner on time and safe.
The auto club AAA is projecting an 11.4 percent increase in Americans traveling at least 50 miles from home this Thanksgiving. In Ohio, ODOT’s traffic experts predict the largest number of vehicles will be on the state highways Wednesday evening and Sunday afternoon.
Safety will be a top concern this holiday: there were 3,713 crashes during the five-day Thanksgiving travel period last year. That’s an average of one crash every two minutes and represents a 20 percent jump from the 3,080 crashes in 2008.
ODOT’s safety analysis also shows that the number of people injured and killed in these crashes was also substantially up from the previous year. There were 832 injuries (up 23 percent from the 681 injuries in 2008) and 18 fatalities (up 38 percent from 13 deaths in 2008).
Ohio drivers can avoid tragedy and reach their destinations safer and faster by going online. KNO B4 U GO by visiting ODOT’s premier website www.BuckeyeTraffic.org.
BuckeyeTraffic.org provides up-to-the-minute information and a user-friendly map of work zone locations, traffic congestion alerts, road closures, and weather conditions 24-hours a day, seven days a week. You can also sign up for traffic alerts in Ohio’s major metropolitan centers - sent through ODOT’s Twitter feed.
Drivers should also plan ahead for places to stop along the way. ODOT will have 17 rest areas around the state closed for construction during the Thanksgiving Holiday, including:
Belmont County - Interstate 70, both east and westbound
Madison County - Interstate 70, both east and westbound
Van Wert County - U.S. Route 30, both east and westbound
Hancock County - Interstate 75, both north and southbound
Hocking County - U.S. Route 33, both east and westbound
Logan County - U.S. 33, both east and westbound
Lake County - Interstate 90, both east and westbound
Trumbull County - Interstate 80, westbound
Gallia County - State Route 7, northbound
Athens County - U.S. Route 50, eastbound (near Torch)
While construction work may be suspended over the holiday, many permanent work zone restrictions remain in place. Below is a list of notable highway construction projects that could impact your Thanksgiving Holiday travel:
U.S. Route 250, Huron County (Northern Ohio)
U.S. 250, just south of the Erie/Huron county line, is closed as part of a bridge replacement project. Detour is posted.
Interstate 90, Ashtabula County (Northeastern Ohio)
Crossover lanes have been placed on I-90 between SR 11 and SR 193 in which one westbound lane and two eastbound lanes are traveling on the eastbound side of I-90. One westbound lane will continue to travel on the westbound side.
State Route 2, Lake County (Northeastern Ohio)
Several projects along SR 2 are currently underway, including lane addition and resurfacing operations between SR 91 and U.S. 20. SR 2 traffic is being maintained during construction; however, numerous side streets and the Lost Nation Road entrance ramp to SR 2 westbound remain closed. Detours are posted.
Interstate 77, Cuyahoga County (Northeastern Ohio)
A lane addition project on I-77 between Oakes Rd. and Rockside Rd. is underway. Traffic is maintained utilizing temporary pavement and lane shifts.
Interstate 90, Lake County (Northeastern Ohio)
Due to construction, I-90 traffic is maintained with two lanes in each direction utilizing temporary crossovers. The entire project reconstructs pavement on I-90 between Paine Road and the Ashtabula County line.
Interstate 475, Lucas County (Northwestern Ohio)
Expect lane restrictions in both directions on Interstate 475, from Interstate 75 to Monroe St. for reconstruction. Various ramps are closed. Detours are posted.
Interstate 270, Franklin County (Central Ohio)
Two lanes of traffic are shifted to the shoulder and right lane in both directions over the Scioto River for a bridge improvement and widening project. The speed limit is reduced to 55 mph in the work zone area.
Interstate 70, Belmont County (Eastern Ohio)
Five-mile major upgrade of I-70, stretching 2.5 miles on each side of exit 208. Two lanes of traffic will be maintained in both directions at all times.
State Route 7, Washington County (Eastern Ohio)
Northbound SR 7 traffic (just north of Jefferson St.) will be diverted onto southbound SR 7, creating a bi-directional traffic pattern. Northbound SR 7 traffic will be diverted back onto SR 7 northbound just after the Duck Creek Bridge.
Interstate 70, Clark County (Western Ohio)
I-70 between SR 72 and US 40 is undergoing a lane addition. Motorists will encounter construction zones in both directions. Two lanes of traffic will remain open in each direction.
Interstate 75, Montgomery County (Southwestern Ohio)
I-75 from Main St. to Stanley Ave. and from Edwin C. Moses Blvd. to Fifth St. has construction zones due to the modernization of the interstate through the city of Dayton. Two lanes of traffic will remain open in each direction.
Interstate 75, Warren County (Southwestern Ohio)
Major reconstruction of I-75 in Warren County, adding a lane in each direction of I-75 from SR 122 (Middletown) to the Warren/ Montgomery county line; reconfiguring the SR 122 interchange and bridge work. Lane widths are reduced on I-75 so that three lanes of traffic can be maintained on I-75 from SR 122 to the Warren/Montgomery county line.
For more information contact: Scott Varner, ODOT Central Office Communications, at 614-644-8640
or your Local ODOT District Communications