The Ohio Department of Transportation kicked off the 2013 construction season by announcing $2.3 billion in new projects.
Some $116 million will be invested in Mahoning and Trumbull counties. One of those projects in Boardman Township aims to improve a troublesome ramp between Interstate 680 and Route 224. Drivers there must weave in and out of lanes trying to get on Route 224 westbound from the interstate.
ODOT announced the replacement of a bridge over I-680 and the realignment of the ramps at Route 224.
“The off ramp by TGI Friday’s and Red Lobster where traffic merges with 224 westbound, we’re going to reconfigure that ramp so it’s an intersection with basically two right turn lanes that will be signalized,” said ODOT Transportation Engineer Thomas Kopnicky.
Kopmicky said the lane restrictions in the area should start mid-summer and the work will be done in two phases.
“We’ll rebuild the north side of the bridge first. Traffic will be on the south side with lane restrictions up and down 224 in that area,” said Kopnicky.
ODOT public information officer Justin Chesnic said ODOT representatives will meet with the 150 businesses that will be affected by the construction project.
“Let them know what was coming their way. What the project was, the big maintenance of traffic issues. The closures, the lane restrictions, the weekend work, the night work. Let them know everything going on,” said Chesnic.
Rose Rovnak’s Classic Bakery sits right behind the off ramp, which is set for the major overhaul this summer.
“It may hurt the business a little, but I think most people live in the area they know the back roads, and we can use South Avenue and the other part of 224,” said Rovnak. “So hopefully, it won’t do too much damage.”
Drivers should expect the orange barrels to start about a mile both east and west of the bridge.