ODOT to invest $138M in southwest Ohio roadways

The exit from westbound I-70 to northbound US 68 will be closed starting Wednesday. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

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The exit from westbound I-70 to northbound US 68 will be closed starting Wednesday. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Dozens of roadways in nine Southwest Ohio counties — including Clark and Champaign — will see some improvements this summer as part of the state’s $138 million infrastructure investment.

The construction projects will include work on some local intersections that are among the most dangerous in the state, officials said Tuesday.

“It’s going to be a busy year for road construction across the state,” said Randy Chevalley, deputy director of the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) District 7, which serves Montgomery, Miami, Clark and Champaign counties. “We’ve made a lot of progress, but there’s much more work ahead.”

On Tuesday, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) District 7 held a construction kickoff event in Dayton, at the intersection of Needmore Road and Brandt Pike, which ODOT and Gov. Mike DeWine identified as one of the 150 most dangerous intersections in the state.

The state announced other projects that will make roads safer, including the Interstate 70 Lane Widening in Clark County.

This $48 million project, expected to be completed in July, will create three continuous lanes in both directions on I-70 between U.S. Route 68 and State Route 72, as well as replace several bridges in the area.

ExploreI-70 ramp in Clark County to close Wednesday

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 sole area where traffic drops to two lanes in the stretch between Dayton and Columbus.

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.

The state’s most dangerous intersections list includes eight that are located in District 7, and the state this year plans to make safety improvements at half of them at a cost of about $5.4 million.

“Safety has been a top priority for the DeWine Administration, and these safety intersections are one example of how we are making Ohio roads safer for motorists and pedestrians for the future,” Chevalley said.

ODOT says that District 7 will have 86 construction projects this year along state-maintained roadways, which counts ongoing projects.

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ODOT expects to spend more than $22 million and $13 million on road construction projects in Clark and Champaign counties, respectively.

Other new notable projects in Clark County include:

  • $5.37 million to resurface U.S. 40 between State Route 4 and east of U.S. 68 and SR 4 between I-70 and U.S. 40
  • $3.04 million to resurface I-70 from Enon Road to west of the U.S. 68 interchange
  • $2.45 million to resurface U.S. 40 from the Miami County line to east of State Route 571, as well as to U.S. 42 from the Green County line towards South Charleston and friction improvements to I-70 and State Route 235 interchange ramps
  • $2.31 million for micro-surfacing on I-70 from east State Route 72 interchange to U.S. 40
  • $1.53 million for resurfacing and curb ramp installation on State Route 54 between State Route 41 and just north of I-70
  • $1.36 million for bridge overlay, bridge painting and repairs on U.S. 68 over Rebert Pike
  • $1.34 million for structural steel bridge painting on U.S. 68 over the Indiana and Ohio Railroad
  • $1.27 million for bridge overlay and repairs on U.S. 42 over the Little Miami River between Jamestown and South Charleston Clifton roads, as well as on the West County Line Road structure over U.S. 68
  • $1.27 million for construction of a roundabout at Selma Pike and East Possum Road
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Clark County ODOT Construction

Clark County ODOT Construction

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Clark County ODOT Construction

New notable projects in Champaign County include:

  • $3.87 million for resurfacing and installation of curb ramps on State Route 55 from the Miami County line to State Route 560
  • $2.52 million to resurface U.S. 36 from east edge of Urbana to State Route 814; State Route 235 for 0.20 miles north of U.S. 36 from State Route 29 to the Logan County line; and State Route 560 from U.S. 36 to State Route 55
  • $1.58 million for chip seal application on State Route 29 between State Route 235, 560, 55, between State Route 560, Urbana, SR 56, and between State Route 29 and the Clark County line
  • $1.52 million to resurface State Route 161 from State Route 29 to State Route 4
  • $1.17 million for concrete pavement repairs on U.S. 68 from just south of the Clark/Champaign County line to Springfield-Urbana Pike
  • $1.15 million for bridge overlays on State Route 29 between Carysville and Rosewood, State Route 245 between Cemetery Road and Salem Cemetery Road, and State Route 560 between Church and Hanna roads
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Champaign County ODOT Construction

Champaign County ODOT Construction

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Champaign County ODOT Construction

These local infrastructure projects will help ensure that the state has a safe and reliable roadway network, said Chevalley, with District 7.

Though traffic volumes are still down compared to pre-pandemic times, truck traffic is up more than 13% from 2019, Chevalley said.

“As we know, these trucks need a strong and reliable and well-maintained system to get our goods and services where they need to be,” he said.

In a statement, DeWine said: “Ohio is a state that makes and moves things,” adding that ODOT’s roadway investments make the Buckeye State an attractive place to do business.

Speakers at Tuesday’s kickoff also stressed how important it is for Ohio’s motorists to watch their speed and avoid distractions when orange barrels are out in construction zones.

Nearly 4,800 crashes took place in Ohio’s work zones in 2021, and more than one-third occurred with workers present, according to ODOT.

ODOT workers, vehicles and equipment were struck 154 times last year, and 70 crews have been hit so far this year.