The state of Ohio is set to spend more than $19 million on road projects in Clark County and $8.5 million in Champaign County this year.
The largest construction work has begun on Interstate 675, where crews can be seen working on the bridge that goes over Interstate 70. It’s a more than a $5 million project and will last for at least two years.
“The bridge is actually around 43 years old,” said Shawn Anberse with the Ohio Department of Transportation. “It’s due for a replacement. It’s kind of one of those that has come up in its life cycle and is starting to deteriorate.”
“We got our money’s worth out of that bridge,” he said.
ODOT crews have done a lot of maintenance and other work to keep the bridge safe, Anberse said, and it has come time for a major overhaul.
“We want to make it as safe as we can for the motoring public,” he said.
To do so, ODOT is replacing much of the infrastructure.
“The whole deck is going to be taken down,” he said. “Then there will be new walls and pavement and a lot of landscaping and dirt work around the ramps to make it safer.”
The bridge work will be done in parts so that traffic can get through. Officials at ODOT and the Ohio State Highway Patrol said it’s important to remember to drive safely through construction zones. Fines are doubled in these areas because dangerous driving can lead to someone getting hurt, they said.
MORE ON ROADS: Columbia Gas starts $3.4M line replacement in Springfield
The I-675/I-70 bridge project is the most expensive in Clark County, but eight other projects will take place this year. Ohio 235 through Park Layne will also see improvements this year. According to ODOT, work crews will improve lighting in the area and will also include road work. It’s projected to cost more than $2.5 million
U.S. 68 in Clark County is also going to have work done. About $700,000 will be spent near the intersections of U.S. 68 and U.S. 40.
The other projects listed in Clark County are:
• Resurfacing U.S. 68 from the Montgomery County line to south of I-70; U.S. 40 from west of I-70 through South Vienna including the on/off ramps to I-70.
• Sealing and resurfacing Ohio 41 from Ohio 235 to North Hampton.
• Chip sealing various routes in Clark County.
• Bridge replacement in various locations in Clark County.
• Resurfacing Ohio 41 and Ohio 42 through South Charleston.
• Overlay bridge decks at two locations, U.S. 68 north to U.S. 40 east over Mad River and U.S. 40 west to U.S. 68 north.
• Installation of traffic signal at I-70 and Ohio 72.
The most expensive ODOT project in Champaign County is projected to cost more than $2.7 million. It’s a combination of three highways: Ohio 54 south of Urbana, Ohio 245 west of North Lewisburg and U.S. 36 from Ohio 814 to Cambrian Road.
Five projects are listed by ODOT for Champaign County this year. The total cost of those projects will be more than $8.5 million.
The other projects in Champaign County are:
• Resurfacing U.S. 36 from Miami County line to the west side of Urbana
• Resurfacing Ohio 29 from U.S. 36 to .6 miles east; U.S. 36 from Ohio 29 to Dugan Road.
• Chip sealing Ohio 54 from Ohio 4 to the Clark County line; Ohio 55 from Christiansburg to Urbana; Ohio 56 from the Clark County line to Ohio 29 and Ohio 269 from Ohio 29 to Ohio 814.
• Culvert replacement on Ohio 814.
ODOT officials said many bridges in Champaign and Logan counties will be worked on as well.
Overall, that state is spending $2.3 billion on roads and bridges. There will be overall 1,098 road projects spanning more than 6,900 miles of pavement that will be started and/or completed in 2017. Also, almost 1,300 bridges will be repaired or replaced in that time frame.
The Springfield News-Sun provides the best coverage of public safety issues in Clark and Champaign counties, including recent stories on plans to widen I-70 and possible roundabouts in Springfield.
9: the total number of road projects in Clark County in 2017
$5,150,00: The cost of working on and fixing the interstate 675 bridge over interstate 70
$19,179,507: The total amount invested in Clark County road projects by ODOT in 2017
*Information provided by Ohio Department of Transportation