ODOT Reminds Motorists to Designate a Sober Driver
Alcohol leading cause of fatal crashes over New Year’s
COLUMBUS (Thursday, December 29, 2011) – As Ohioans ring in the New Year this weekend, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) reminds motorists to drive sober, don’t rush, and avoid distractions.
“The New Year’s Holiday has the most alcohol-related crashes of the six major travel holidays,” said ODOT Director Jerry Wray. “Of all the crash types, alcohol use is the most preventable.”
More than 1,700 crashes occurred on Ohio highways over the three-day New Year’s Holiday last year resulting in 602 injuries and 8 fatalities; 75 percent of the New Year’s fatalities were alcohol-related.
ODOT safety experts also recommend these tips to help prevent crashes:
• Don’t Rush – Leave plenty of time to arrive at your destination as well as space between your car and the one in front of you. Motorists should leave one car length between their car and the car in front of them for every 10 mph of speed. Trucks should allow even more space.
• Avoid Distractions – Be mindful of construction zones, snowplow trucks, and pedestrians. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid distractions, such as cell phones.
During the winter, conditions on the road can change mile by mile, minute by minute. Being a careful, informed, and sober driver is the best way motorists can travel safely. ODOT’s traffic website www.BuckeyeTraffic.org offers up-to-the-minute highway information on weather and road conditions, road closures, accident updates and traffic congestion alerts.
Here’s a comprehensive list of major highway construction projects around the state:
Interstate 270, Franklin County
Major reconstruction is underway on the southwest side of Columbus. Three lanes will be maintained in each direction between Roberts Rd. and Broad St. One of the three southbound lanes will be a contraflow lane.
For the I-270 project, the contraflow lane begins just south of Roberts Rd. and means the left lane of southbound traffic will cross over to the northbound side of the road. A portable barrier wall separates the southbound contraflow lane and the three northbound lanes.
Motorists travelling southbound who wish to exit at I-70 or Broad St. should stay in the right two lanes of I-270 south. The contraflow lane can be used as an express lane for those who do not wish to exit at I-70 or Broad St.
Two lanes will be maintained in each direction between Broad St. and U.S. 62. All ramps will remain open.
The speed limit through the work zone will be reduced to 55 mph so drivers should allow for extra time for their trip and remain alert since this is a seven mile construction zone.
Interstates 670/71, Franklin County
Major construction is underway on Interstates 670 and 71 just north of downtown Columbus. Two lanes are maintained on both I-670 and I-71. The speed limit has been reduced to 45 mph through the zone. A number of exits to downtown are closed, but there are still two lanes open in each direction on I-670 and I-71. Detours are less than three miles and detour and re-routes are signed both on the interstates and city streets. Visit www.odot71670.org for more information.
Interstate 75, West Carrollton, Montgomery County
I-75 in the area of the East Central Ave. and Dixie Dr. Interchange is under renovation. Motorists will encounter a construction zone in both directions on I-75. Three lanes of traffic will remain open to motorists in each direction during holiday travel.
Interstate 70, Clark County
I-70 between SR 72 and U.S. 40 is undergoing a lane addition. Motorists will encounter construction zones in both directions on I-70. Two lanes of traffic will remain open to motorists in each direction during holiday travel.
Interstate 75, Dayton, Montgomery County
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 to motorists in each direction during holiday travel.
Interstate 90, Lake County
Traffic on I-90 between Paine Rd. and the Ashtabula County line is shifted utilizing temporary crossovers. One lane of I-90 eastbound traffic will be using I-90 westbound.
State Route 2, Lake County
Several projects along SR 2 are currently underway. SR 2 between Newell St. and the Grand River is restricted to one lane in each direction.
Interstate 90, Cuyahoga County
The I-90 Innerbelt Bridge through downtown Cleveland remains open; however, multiple ramps along the downtown corridor are closed or restricted as crews work to construct a new westbound I-90 Innerbelt Bridge. Visit www.Innerbelt.org for more information.
Interstate 475, Lucas County
Expect lane restrictions in both directions on I-475, from I-75 to Monroe St. for reconstruction. Various ramps are closed within the project. Detours are posted.
U.S. Route 24, Lucas and Henry counties
U.S. Route 24, from I-475 to Dutch Rd. is reduced to one lane in each direction. Various roads are closed in Lucas and Henry counties along the new alignment. Detours are posted.
U.S. Route 52, Scioto County
U.S. 52 is reduced to one lane in each direction from Portsmouth/New Boston to S.R. 522 at Wheelersburg, as well as between the S.R. 253/Greenup Dam exit and the Lawrence County line for a series of four-lane resurfacing projects. Traffic is being maintained in a minimum of one, 11-foot lane in each direction.
Interstate 74, Hamilton County
Replace and widen I-74 structure over SR 128. While three lanes of traffic are open in each direction, two lanes of westbound I-74 are switched to the eastbound side of the work zone with one lane remaining on the westbound shoulder. While the permanent work zone restrictions remain in place, work is suspended over the holiday and there will be no additional lane closures.