YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Driving along the Ohio Turnpike, drivers find April-November — aka. Construction season — to be the most difficult months.
They may be less frustrating in the new year, though, as the turnpike is cutting the number of road projects by 25 percent in 2017.
“We recognize that people — their patience may have been tried a few times,” said Bran Newbacher, public information officer of the Ohio Turnpike.
The turnpike heard about it through emails and on social media. So they decided to make a change, putting 25 percent fewer lane miles under construction next year.
“It’s nice to have your voice heard I guess,” William Vancrey said.
The turnpike also observed some behavior which led it to believe drivers were not happy about all the construction.
In today’s society of instant action, they wanted changes — and the turnpike is delivering.
“I think it means that they are taking heed to the tolls and reducing the hindrance in the construction,” Lequita Beaton of Indiana said. “So that if they’re doing construction, they’re doing it later at night.”
The budget — $121 million — will allow the Ohio Turnpike to fix over a half-dozen bridges in Mahoning County.
Plus, other projects will replace and repave portions of the 241-mile road — which was built in the 1950’s — to meet today’s standards.
“I think it would cut down on the accidents,” Steve Tabaka of Youngstown said.
“It makes more sense long term to take sections of it and just rebuild from the ground up, all the way down to the dirt,” Newbacher said. “And you don’t have to keep repaving, repaving, and repaving, which turns out to be more expensive in the long run.”
Also, the turnpike is spending $714,000 to prepare for self-driving cars, plus install fiber optic along the road.
That could one day also allow you to have WiFi while driving across the state.