Springfield trucking company: Widening I-70 to make corridor safer

6:00 p.m Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018 Politics
Jake Shuman with Shuman Specialized Transportation thinks widening Interstate 70 to 3 lanes will improve safety. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF

The widening of Interstate 70 in Clark County will make a busy transportation corridor safer, says a Springfield-based trucking company.

The project to add a lane in each direction between Ohio 72 and U.S. 68 previously was set to begin in July of 2019, Clark County-Springfield Transportation Coordinating Committee Director Scott Schmid said. The project was recently moved up a year by the Ohio Department of Transportation.

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Now it will start this July. The 3.46 miles of the roadway from U.S. 68 to Ohio 72 currently is two lanes in both directions of I-70.

Jack Shuman, with Shuman Specialized Transportation, is happy the $52 million project is gaining momentum. He believes that stretch can be unsafe for drivers.

“Cars trying to fly by you on the left and trying to get back where it goes from three to two (lanes) causes a lot of possibilities for accidents and things to go wrong,” Shuman said.

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The section between Ohio 72 and U.S. 68 in the last two-lane section between Columbus and Dayton.

“It’s caused a bottleneck for years,” Shuman said.

The project is expected to last about two full seasons and be completed in phases. All work is expected to be completed in early 2021, Schmid said.

The $18 million Phase 1 of the project from Enon to U.S. 68 was completed in the fall of 2015. A third lane was added in each direction in that 3.8-mile stretch of I-70, which took nearly a year-and-a-half to complete.

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The second phase of the project includes adding a lane in the east and westbound lanes in the remaining two-lane section, redoing the existing four lanes and replacing six aging bridges.

Shuman said the changes are much needed for the area that gets around 65,000 cars that drive through it daily.

“Making it three lanes is definitely the way to go and is definitely a good thing,” he said.

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