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Navigating the I-71/670 Construction Zone

1.     Are I-71 and I-670 open during construction?

Yes. Two lanes are being maintained on I-71 and I-670 throughout construction, with just a few exceptions. When there are planned lane closures and restrictions, we will provide prior notification to the local media and post the information on our website and on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

2.     What if the exit ramp I usually take is closed?

There are posted detours and extensive signage to show drivers the way around closed ramps and exits.  ODOT also works with the City of Columbus to identify alternate routes around construction that may not be signed but are options. We will continue to share these detours and alternate routes with the local media and on our website, FB and Twitter accounts.

3.     Are there other ways to get out of downtown?


If South of Broad Street:

·       Main Street east to I-71 north to I-670 east

·       Long St. to Hamilton Ave. to Mt. Vernon Ave. to St. Clair Ave. to Leonard Ave. to access I-71 north(via I-670 west or I-670 east.


If North of Broad Street:

·       Long St. to Hamilton Ave. to Mt. Vernon Ave. to St. Clair Ave. to Leonard Ave. to I-71 north (via I-670 west) or I-670 east.

·       Continuing north on 4th St., past I-670, using the left two lanes to 5th Ave. or 11th Ave. or Hudson St. to access I-71 north.


4.     When does the Long Street Bridge close?

It was originally thought that the Long Street Bridge would close for about six months as a new bridge was built over I-71. The Design-Build Team proposed a new approach, however, that will limit the closure to no more than one week. Construction on Long Street will begin Spring 2012; an exact date for the closure has not yet been determined.

There will be at least 14 days advance notification of that closure and signage erected to help motorists and the public get to Long Street while it is closed.

5.     Can I still get to the Columbus Airport?

Yes. I-670 in both directions is open, just with fewer lanes in and around downtown. You can still get to and from the airport.

6.     Why is there a lane from I-70 east to I-71 closed? Does this have anything to do with this project?

This lane closure is necessary to build a drainage system that will eventually serve a longer stretch of I-71. This new system features a micro tunnel, located approximately 30-feet below ground.

7.     What can I personally do to ease traffic back-ups?

Most of the people stuck in traffic are local commuters, not out-of-towners. If each person would leave his or her car at home just one day a week, traffic would decrease by nearly 20 percent! We strongly encourage local drivers to consider other travel options, including the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) and Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission’s (MORPC) RideSolutions, or riding a bike or walking to work.

Employers can help by providing preferential parking for vanpoolers and carpoolers, subsidizing transit passes, and providing bike-friendly work sites. They can also encourage telecommuting and stagger shift times to help alleviate bottlenecks during rush hour.  

8.     Are emergency vehicles still able to access the interstate as needed?

Yes. There is ongoing communication with emergency responders to ensure they have the information they need to access crashes and area hospitals safely and quickly.

9.     How will the actual construction affect my neighbors and me?

We know construction is inconvenient. There will be some noise, dust and vibrations. Kokosing, the Design Build Team contractor, will keep a clean work site to minimize this, and we will work closely with the City of Columbus to be respectful of the people who live and work in the area. Noise like back up alarms on trucks can be annoying but are safety features that save lives and are required by law to help ensure the safety of the construction workers.

10.  Will you have to shut off water or electricity during construction?

There will be a few short utility service interruptions. The utility companies are required to give you advance notice, and we will also keep you informed.  In the event of an unplanned interruption, the utility companies have communication protocols they follow, and they will also communicate with the I-71/670 Communications Team so we will also be able to notify the media and post updates on the project website.

 11.  Can you help us explain the project to our employees and customers?

Absolutely!  Please feel free to link your organization’s website to the www.odot71670.org website. We would be happy to send you the project logo and other graphics if you need these to feature the construction prominently on your website or in other communication materials. We are also happy to brief your organization in person. Contact us at info@odot71670.org to make arrangements.