ODOT kicks off highway construction season in Clark, surrounding counties

The Ohio Department of Transportation announced that it is investing $1.92 billion into the state’s roads and bridges in construction projects this year.

That includes $125 million being allocated to 74 projects in a nine county area that includes Clark, Champaign, Montgomery and Miami counties. That stretch of Ohio constitutes ODOT’s District 7.

The district includes 65 new projects being started this year as well as nine carryover projects. Construction ranges from adding lanes and safety features to resurfacing and bridge work.

Construction continues on the Interstate 70 overpass over US 68 Tuesday. The overpass is part of ODOT's I-70 lane addition project. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Construction continues on the Interstate 70 overpass over US 68 Tuesday. The overpass is part of ODOT's I-70 lane addition project. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

ODOT officials made the announcement Tuesday during the kickoff of the 2021 construction season. The event took place in Springfield near the construction site of the final phase of a widening project on I-70 aimed at enhancing lane capacity and motorist safety.

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The idea is that by increasing the capacity of the roadway it will also increase safety, especially as traffic has grown on I-70 over the years, said ODOT District 7 Construction Engineer Joshua Bowman.

The project is adding a third lane in both directions of the interstate between U.S. 68 and State Route 72. It is the third and final phase of an overall project that has spanned over 20 years. Once completed, the interstate will offer three lanes of travel on both sides of the highway from the Columbus to Dayton areas.

“It is a huge accomplishment for the local community. It is a huge accomplishment for ODOT. It is a huge accomplishment for anybody who travels through Clark County on I-70, or really from Columbus to Dayton,” Bowman said.

Construction continues on the Interstate 70 overpass over South Limestone Street. The overpass is part of ODOT's I-70 lane addition project. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Construction continues on the Interstate 70 overpass over South Limestone Street. The overpass is part of ODOT's I-70 lane addition project. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Construction on the final phase on I-70 started in 2018 and is expected to wrap up in October. Work continued throughout the coronavirus pandemic largely uninterrupted.

“It was challenging at times to figure how we were going to do that with crews that were so used to sharing tools and sharing things out on the projects. We had to make sure that we could separate that and keep that social distancing in play the entire time,” Bowman said.

The estimated cost of the work is $48 million.

“It is more enticing for businesses and companies to move through Ohio and move through this area. Hopefully they decide to set up shop around here sometime,” Bowman said of the improvements.

The I-70 project is one of seven projects taking place in Clark County during 2021, with some starting in previous years and others slated to end next year.

One includes a $705,000 project that will widen all four corners of the intersection between State Route 41 and Titus Road as well as Ridge Road in Springfield Twp. The project will also include the installation of a brand new traffic signal as well as asphalt resurfacing.

That work is slated to begin this summer and will be completed early next year, according to a list of projects provided by ODOT.

Four projects are scheduled for Champaign County with most focusing on asphalt resurfacing.

Montgomery County will also see several large construction projects this year. In total, 26 road and bridge projects are slated to take place in the county throughout 2021.

Included is work on the ramp from I-70 eastbound to I-75 northbound. The $782,400 project is underway and the ramp is temporarily closed.

Joshua Bowman, ODOT District 7 construction engineer, talks about all the construction projects on the District 7 roadways Tuesday during the 2021 ODOT Construction Season Kickoff in Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Joshua Bowman, ODOT District 7 construction engineer, talks about all the construction projects on the District 7 roadways Tuesday during the 2021 ODOT Construction Season Kickoff in Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

As part of the construction, which is slated to end around June, a more than 8-foot-tall safety barrier will be built around the outside curb of that ramp to prevent rollover crashes, according to representatives of ODOT.

The higher wall design has a portion that sits below the pavement to help keep it stable if it is hit by larger vehicles, this news organization previously reported.

The interchange is relatively busy. The I-70/I-75 Interchange saw on average 185,000 vehicles per day in 2019 and 155,000 vehicles per day in 2020.

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ODOT will be working on several Greene County projects this spring, summer and fall, too.

ODOT will be doing pavement repair and resurfacing on I-675, from the Montgomery County line to near North Fairfield Road. This project also includes bridge overlays and joint repairs on the mainline and overhead bridges. This project started in the spring of 2020 and is scheduled to be finished next summer. It will cost about $26.1 million.

ODOT is getting ready to open up a contraflow lane on I-675 this week, said ODOT District 8 spokeswoman Kathleen Fuller. One lane of northbound I-675 will be moved to the southbound side between Dayton-Xenia and Shakertown Road, she said.

ODOT is also continuing work on the superstreet in Greene County. This construction is on U.S. 35 between Orchard Lane and Factory Road in Beavercreek. In addition to road and bridge improvements, the project will include building signalized intersections at both locations to allow for legal U-turn movements. The project is scheduled for completion in 2022. The estimated cost is nearly $15 million.

Officials during the 2021 ODOT Construction Season Kickoff Tuesday in Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Officials during the 2021 ODOT Construction Season Kickoff Tuesday in Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

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