Thanksgiving Second-Deadliest Holiday on Ohio Roads

Buckle Up to Arrive Alive
 
COLUMBUS (Monday, November 19, 2012) – With Thanksgiving holding title as the second-deadliest holiday on Ohio’s roads last year, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is reminding motorists to buckle up, especially this holiday weekend.
 
“Seatbelts are the best defense against impaired, aggressive, and distracted drivers,” said ODOT Director Jerry Wray. “During a crash, wearing a seat belt can keep motorists and passengers safe and secure inside their vehicle.”
 
Last Thanksgiving, four of the 14 people killed on Ohio’s roads were not wearing a seat belt. An additional 168 people were injured.
 
Contributing to the high number of Thanksgiving crashes last year, and ultimately injuries and fatalities, is the dramatic spike in traffic – a 66 percent increase on Ohio’s rural highways the day before Thanksgiving and a 49 percent increase the Sunday following the holiday. 
 
While construction work is suspended over the holiday, many permanent work zone restrictions remain in place. Below is a list of many of the notable highway construction projects that could impact your Thanksgiving Holiday travel:
CENTRAL OHIO
Interstates 71/670, Franklin County
Two lanes maintained on I-71 and I-670 throughout the two-mile construction zone in downtown Columbus.
Access to the airport is not impacted but various ramps are closed. Detours are posted. The reduced speed of 45 mph is strictly enforced. 
 
Interstate 270, Franklin County
Between Roberts Rd. and U.S. 62, three lanes will be maintained on I-270 north but only two lanes for I-270 south through the seven-mile construction zone.  Motorists may also notice barrels not concrete barrier wall separating lanes of traffic. This is temporary until the first week of December, weather permitting.
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 commute and remain alert since this is a seven mile construction zone. 
 
EASTERN OHIO
State Route 7, Jefferson County
SR 7 is reduced to one lane between Brilliant and Rush Run for landslide repairs.
 
State Route 7, Jefferson County
SR 7 is reduced to one, 11-foot lane in each direction through the city of Steubenville for resurfacing.
 
WESTERN OHIO
Interstate 75, Montgomery County
I-75 from Edwin C. Moses Blvd. to Main St. is under construction due to the modernization of the interstate through the city of Dayton. Two lanes of traffic will remain open to motorists in each direction. Three lanes will be open in certain areas. Motorists need to stay alert, as traffic patterns are currently not in their traditional places at this location. 
 
U.S. 35, Montgomery County
U.S. 35 is under construction just east of I-75. Two lanes of traffic will remain open to motorists in each direction. Drivers need to stay alert and watch for changing traffic patterns in that area.
 
Interstate 75/County Rd. 25A Interchange, Miami County
Traffic will be in its original pattern by Thanksgiving on I-75 southbound, with three lanes in each direction being maintained. The I-75 southbound ramp to CR 25A is closed. Traffic is being detoured to SR 571, back to I-75 northbound, to CR 25A. 
 
Interstate 75/ U.S. 36, Piqua, Miami County
Motorists will encounter some construction in the area of I-75 and U.S. 36 near Piqua. Two lanes of traffic will remain open on I-75 in this area.
 
SOUTHERN OHIO
U.S. Route 23, Ross County
U.S. 23 is reduced to one lane in each direction between the Eastern Avenue exit and the Scioto River bridge near the U.S. 35 bypass at Chillicothe. Traffic is being maintained in a minimum of one, 12-foot lane in each direction.
 
SOUTHWESTERN OHIO
U.S.  Route 50/Sixth St. Expressway, Hamilton County
Reconstruction of the U.S. 50/Sixth St. Expressway progresses, motorists are reminded that the Sixth St. Expressway/Freeman Ave. ramps will remain closed until Dec. 31 with detours in place.  Vehicles over 16 tons are restricted from the existing viaduct.  While the permanent work zone restrictions remain in place, work is suspended over the holiday and there will be no additional lane closures.
 
Interstate 71 at Jeremiah Morrow Bridge, Warren County
Jeremiah Morrow Bridge replacement.  Lane width is restricted to eight-feet, six inches.  While the permanent work zone restrictions remain in place, work is suspended over the holiday and there will be no additional lane closures.
 
NORTHERN OHIO
Interstate 71, Morrow County
I-71 southbound, from just south of the Morrow/Richland County line to SR 95 (between mile markers 158 and 150), is reduced to two narrowed lanes of traffic for the reconstruction and widening project. Two lanes will be maintained at all times in the southbound direction. The project is expected to be complete October 2013.
 
Interstate 76, Medina County
I-76 eastbound, from just west of State Route 94 to the Summit County line, is reduced to one lane of traffic for a reconstruction project. Motorists are advised to use caution in this area and watch for slower moving traffic as it merges in to the open (right, driving) lane. The entrance ramp to I-76 eastbound from SR 94 in the city of Wadsworth is closed.  This closure is anticipated to be in place late November 2012. Detour is posted.
 
Interstate 90, Lorain County
I-90, at its twin bridge structures over the Black River and Ford Rd., is reduced to two narrowed 11-foot lanes of traffic in each direction for bridge deck replacements. The restrictions will remain in place through November 2013. 
 
U.S. Route 224, Medina County
U.S. 224, at its overlap with Rivers Corners Rd. (between State Route 301 and U.S. Route 42), is closed as part of a CSX railroad bridge replacement project. The detour route for westbound motorists is U.S. 224 to U.S. 42, south on U.S. 42 to SR 89, north on SR 89 to SR 58, north on SR 58 to U.S. 224, and reverse for eastbound motorists. The road is expected to reopen in December 2012.
 
NORTHEASTERN OHIO
Interstate 90, Cuyahoga County
The I-90 Innerbelt Bridge through downtown Cleveland remains open; however, multiple ramps – including the Ontario St. entrance ramp to I-90 west – 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 90, Lake County
Traffic on I-90 between Paine Rd. and Painesville-Ravenna Rd. is shifted utilizing temporary crossovers.  One lane of I-90 eastbound traffic will be using I-90 westbound.
 
Interstate 77 in Stark County
I-77 northbound and southbound between SR 800 and the Tuscarawas County line will have various lane restrictions for paving operations. 
 
Interstate 90 in Ashtabula County
Motorists traveling on I-90 from just east of the Conneaut River to the Pennsylvania State line should be aware of a bi-directional traffic pattern. Although two lanes of traffic will be maintained in each direction, westbound traffic is split. One lane of westbound traffic is crossed over onto I-90 eastbound, while the second lane remains on I-90 westbound.
 
NORTHWESTERN OHIO
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.
 
A complete list of active construction projects throughout the state can be found on ODOT’s traffic website, www.BuckeyeTraffic.org. The site offers up-to-the-minute information and a user-friendly map showing work zone locations, traffic congestion alerts, road closures, weather conditions, and Highway Patrol accident updates; all available 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
 
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For more information,  contact: Steve Faulkner, ODOT Press Secretary, at 614-644-7101, steve.faulkner@dot.state.oh.us or your local ODOT District Communications Office