Two Interstate 70 on-ramps in Clark County will close for almost six months on Monday as part of a $43 million Ohio Department of Transportation lane expansion project.
The closures will include the ramp from I-70 westbound to U.S. 68 southbound and the ramp from US 68 northbound to I-70 westbound, according to ODOT’s website.
The ramps will close at 7 p.m. on Monday and remain shut down until Sept. 6. Detours for the closures will be posted with signs prior to the exits, ODOT spokesperson Mandi Dillon said.
“We will be putting those up and we will also be educating people through social media about the traffic change,” Dillon said.
MORE FROM RILEY NEWTON: Body recovered from Mad River in Clark County
For the I-70 westbound ramp detour, ODOT is asking drivers to take I-70 westbound to Enon Road to get onto I-70 eastbound to U.S. 68 southbound, according to ODOT’s website.
For the U.S. northbound ramp detour, ODOT is asking drivers to take U.S. 68 northbound to State Route 4 westbound, then merge onto I-70 westbound.
The ramps were supposed to be closed on March 1, but bad weather pushed the closure back a week, Dillon said. But despite the one-week weather set back, the highway project is still on track to be completed by the ODOT’s original deadline of fall 2021, Dillon said.
“Everything is still on track. We have crews out there working all the time,” Dillon said.
The long-planned project to widen I-70 and improve safety between U.S. 68 began in July 2018 — but the project had been discussed since 2002 — as Springfield is the lone area where traffic drops to two lanes in the stretch between Dayton and Columbus.
Phase one of the project was completed in the fall of 2015. The $18 million phase one 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, which costs about $43 million and is currently underway, 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.
One lane of traffic on I-70 in Clark County shifted to the other side of the highway in December as part of phase two. According to ODOT, some 65,000 to 70,000 motorists use that stretch of I-70 daily.
Under the traffic shift, two-lanes on I-70 westbound split, with one shifting to the eastbound side of the interstate and one operating on the westbound side. Traffic is expected to remain split until around December 2020.
Once completed, the roadway section will have three 12-foot lanes and a 12-foot inside and outside shoulder in each direction.
Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.