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I-275/SR 32 interchange improvement update

I-275/SR 32 interchange improvement update
CLERMONT COUNTY  (Friday, March 7, 2014) - As work progresses on the I-275 and SR 32 Interchange improvement project, the Ohio Department of Transportation continues to work to alleviate traffic backups incurred due to construction.
“We understand it’s not an ideal situation, but ODOT and the contractor are aware of the issue and continue to take steps to reduce and hopefully eliminate traffic backups,” said District 8 Deputy Director Steve Mary. “Unfortunately the work that needs to be completed before we can offer some permanent relief on southbound I-275 will take the better part of 2014 to build,” he added. Work includes the construction of two bridges and several earth walls.
In addition to the remedies implemented to help offset traffic tie-ups during this phase of construction, project personnel continue to monitor and adjust the timing of the exit ramp and SR 32 traffic signals to improve the flow of traffic in the area. During the various phases of construction through the project’s completion in the fall of 2015, motorists should expect to experience delays at times and should plan their route accordingly.
While ODOT recognizes that the new traffic patterns will take some time for drivers to adjust to, engineers have made several specific adjustments since the opening of the new ramps at the I-275/SR 32 interchange to improve safety:
• Additional pavement markings and signage have been added to the southbound I-275 ramp to SR 32 to help direct motorists to the proper lanes on SR 32
• To alleviate backups on the northbound I-275 exit ramp to SR 32, the I-275 short connector ramp to SR 32 from the divergence point with the new exit ramp has been reopened to permit uninterrupted eastbound traffic to merge onto SR 32. Traffic can also access east and westbound SR 32 at the new traffic signal at the new exit ramp.
All northbound and southbound exit signs on I-275 to SR 32 have been changed to provide the exit number with no letter designation. Both directions now say “BATAVIA/NEWTOWN” and advise motorists when the exit is half a mile away, one quarter of a mile away and at the next right.
One of the primary objectives of the I-275/SR 32 Interchange improvement project is to enhance safety and reduce congestion by reducing the number of merge/weave points that exist on I-275 and SR 32.
·         From 2009-2011, there were approximately 100 rear-end and sideswipe crashes likely attributable to weave movements at the closely spaced I-275/SR 32 and SR32/Eastgate interchanges. This project eliminates five of the six weave movements.
·         Of the 100 crashes, 28 rear-end crashes occurred on I-275. This project addresses congestion on the primary route, which is I-275, for improved safety and supports future improvement to the east on SR 32 and intersecting roadways.
·         Once this interchange project is completed, a significant portion of exiting traffic will bypass the signals and Eastgate Blvd. via the flyover ramps, passing through the tunnelto merge with SR 32 somewhere around the existing McDonald’s.
·         These current projects are actually part of a larger planned program that will potentially eliminate the traffic signals on SR 32 at Gleneste Withamsville, Elick Lane, and Old SR 74 on the east end heading towards Batavia. Likewise, there is another project under consideration that could eliminate the light and intersection at Old 74 on the west end. Neither project has a finalized start date yet, but the implementation of the full program of projects should reduce the reliance on traffic signals to regulate traffic in the area.
·         With expected continued growth in the Clermont County population, congestion would only increase without these improvements, further exacerbating existing safety concerns associated with the weaves throughout both interchanges.