New traffic signals are being installed in Springfield to help alleviate congestion at a busy Interstate 70 interchange.
The Ohio Department of Transportation is spending about $300,000 on two, new traffic signals at I-70 and Ohio 72 at the westbound entrance and exit ramps, according to documents on its website. The new lights will help alleviate traffic backups in the area, said Clark County-Springfield Transportation Coordinating Committee Director Scott Schmid.
The interchange can get congested during rush hour when cars coming off the freeway are turning to reach businesses on East Leffel Lane, he said.
“It’s primarily due to Assurant Group and Clark State, especially in the morning there getting off of the interstate,” Schmid said.
Assurant Group is one of the biggest employers in Clark County with more than 1,900 workers.
In 2005, about 22,000 cars moved through the interchange a day. That’s the most recent data available on the TCC’s website.
That area is heavily congested in the afternoons as well. Springfield resident Elizabeth Coffee is happy to hear about the addition to the area.
“Because it controls the traffic from the highway,” she said. “When you are coming out to the left, it takes forever to get out and it will be less accidents (now).”
She has lived in the area for five years. In that time, she’s seen about 10 accidents. She hopes the new light will cut down on those crashes.
The project has been in the works for a while, Schmid said. It will be a standard traffic signal that will clear the ramps during the peak periods of congestion when there is back up on the ramp and on South Limestone Street.
The new signals will be linked to the city’s system to move traffic effectively between the different signals in the area, he said.
They should be operational by the beginning of 2018, Schmid said.
The Ohio Department of Transportation spokeswoman didn’t respond to requests for more information about the project.