I-70 construction project completion pushed back to 2022

Lane shift for project scheduled in Clark County Sunday.

The $48 million highway expansion project for I-70 is expected to be completed in 2022, pushed back from this fall due to weather-related issues, the Ohio Department of Transportation said.

“We expect to have all three lanes of I-70, both sides, open to traffic before Winter 2021,” ODOT District 7 Public Information Officer Tiffany Oliphant said in an email. “Next construction season (2022), the contractor will return to put down the final surface asphalt. Drivers will experience lane closures and possible ramp closures during this time.”

The dates for paving have not been determined, according to ODOT.

ODOT will make another lane shift on I-70 in Clark County as part of the highway expansion project.

Contractors for John R. Jurgensen Company will be conducting the final traffic pattern shift on I-70 between U.S. 68 and State Route 72 in Clark County at 8 p.m. Sunday through 6 a.m. Monday, an ODOT press release said.

Crews are shifting the I-70 eastbound lanes onto newly constructed pavement. There will be multiple ramp closures at the I-70 and U.S. 68 Interchange and the I-70 to S.R. 72.

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Below are the ramp closures and detours:

  • U.S. 68 South to I-70 East detour: I-70 west to Enon Rd. to I-70 east
  • I-70 East to U.S. 68 South detour: I-70 east to S.R. 41 to I-70 west to U.S. 68 south
  • U.S. 68 North to I-70 East detour: I-70 west to Enon Rd. to I-70 east
  • I-70 E to S.R. 72 detour: I-70 east to S.R. 41 to I-70 west to S.R. 72

Crews are also placing pavement markings and removing barriers to open the eastbound right two lanes and all eastbound ramps.

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The long-planned project to widen I-70 and improve safety between U.S. 68 began in July 2018 — but the project had been in discussion since 2002 — as Springfield was the lone area where traffic drops to two lanes in the stretch between Dayton and Columbus.

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

Phase two of the project includes adding a lane in the east and westbound lanes for 3.46 miles between S.R. 72 and U.S. 68, redoing the existing four lanes and replacing six aging bridges.

After the weekend’s work, the contractors’ next steps will be to work in the median of I-70, Oliphant said. Workers will install the new median cable barrier, work on bridge items, reconstruct median turn arounds and remove the temporary pavement used to cross traffic over the median during the previous phases of the project.

Roughly 65,000 to 70,000 motorists use that stretch of I-70 daily, and ODOT expects traffic to increase by 40% by 2033.

ODOT projects traffic volumes out 20 years from the day a project opens, Oliphant said. A second forecast completed in 2018 for phase two of the project focused on 2013 through 2033.

“The volumes used in this forecast were very similar to the previous forecast,” she said.

After the project’s completion, the roadway section will have three 12-foot lanes and a 12-foot inside and outside shoulder in each direction.

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By the Numbers:

2018: The year the I-70 construction project began

4: The number of detours for construction activity on Sunday

48: The amount in millions of the cost of the I-70 construction project