U.S. 224 bridge project set

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Beginning Monday, the Ohio Department of Transportation will start a $5.8 million project that will completely overhaul the Interstate 680 and U.S. Route 224 interchange.

The work includes widening the bridge, redoing several ramps and replacing a culvert on Route 224 east of Interstate 680.

“We’re making the ramps safer because it makes the entrance from the highway onto 224 definitely a lot more safer and gradual.  So basically two parts: safety and to expand capacity,” ODOT District 4 spokesman Brent Kovacs said.

U.S. 224 will eventually be reduced to one lane in each direction and ramps will be closed during the course of construction.

Motorists also can expect various lane restrictions at the intersection of Tiffany Boulevard and U.S. 224. To help reduce the impact on traffic, those restrictions will happen overnight between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Some drivers already are planning detours to get around the construction.

“I’m waiting for it to see if I’m gonna be going further down and coming through five points and coming this way. Cause I think it’s going to be a big congestion area,” said Melanie Emerson of Leetonia.

Business owners in the area are hoping the orange cones won’t scare customers away.

“They’re saying they’re gonna work from 9 to 6, hich will be good for business.  But, I mean, it’s gonna hurt all the businesses if the traffic’s too bad.  We already got bad traffic now,” said Robert DuPonty, owner of Robert’s Hair Salon.

In August, Route 224 will be restricted to one lane in each direction during those overnight hours between Tiffany Boulevard and Audubon Avenue. In September, the I-680 north exit ramp to U.S. 224 will be closed for 10 days.

The project will be completed by the fall of 2014.

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