CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Springtime in Northeast Ohio also means the beginning of road construction season. Drivers need to be aware of where the projects are happening and the rules for work zones.
The Ohio Department of Transportation announced nearly $200 million in construction projects this season for both Mahoning and Trumbull counties. The majority of projects are resurfacing and include Interstates 76 and 80 from the Portage County line to Bailey Road, a section of State Route 82 and 193 and two projects on Route 11.
“State Route 11, basically from US 224 all the way to Niles Vienna Road, throughout this year is gonna have various construction on it, so it’s about a 10- to 15-mile stretch of road there that motorists are gonna have to give themselves some extra time to slow down on,” said Ohio Department of Transportation spokesman Justin Chesnic.
This is in addition to the widening work already underway on I-80. The project will soon be entering its next phase with a major lane shift in mid-May, giving workers complete access to the westbound lanes for reconstruction.
That means all eastbound traffic will be moved to the outside lanes, and all westbound traffic will be crossed to the inside lanes and separated by a concrete barrier. ODOT expects to make this move sometime around May 15.
“That’s not gonna happen without a lot of confusion or a lot of work. We have some ramp closures that are gonna continue,” said ODOT Engineer Joe Alfano.
In an age where the number of distracted drivers is climbing at an alarming rate, the Ohio State Highway Patrol is working to send the message to slow down and pay attention in construction zones.
Accidents typically happen as traffic is funneled into smaller areas of construction zones. The areas are planned out by engineers who take speed into account as they plan traffic patterns. Problems occur when drivers speed or are distracted.
“When we have an aggressive driver that wants to speed through a construction zone and cause an accident, it is going to affect everybody for a significantly longer period of time than it would if they would have just went the speed limit through the construction zone,” said Sgt. Jason Bonar, Ohio State Highway Patrol.
The speed limit through construction zones on the interstate is typically 55 miles per hour, unless posted otherwise.
In addition to speed, drivers are urged to watch how closely they are traveling to vehicles in front of them. A good rule of thumb to remember is for every ten miles per hour you’re driving give yourself a car length between you and the car in front of you.
Troopers count on drivers to report any erratic driving on the highway. Many times, dangerous drivers are taken off the road because someone called it in. But the patrol warns to get of the way first and then call.
“Try to change lanes to get out of their way. If you can safely do so, pick up your phone and dial #677. That will go to the closest Highway Patrol post or dial 911 and alert the driver’s behavior,” Bonar said.
Speeding fines through work zones are double, and if there is an accident, more fines could be added.
Interstate 80 in Austintown Township & Liberty Township and the City of Girard
I-80 westbound between the Mahoning County line and Salt Springs Rd. has various daily lane restrictions for noise wall installation through mid- April.
The following lane restrictions and ramp closures are in place along the I-80 corridor:(until further notice)
- Traffic on I-80 eastbound between Salt Springs Rd. and US 422 is shifted over to the westbound lanes via a crossover condition. Two lanes of traffic will be maintained in each direction with all traffic placed on the I-80 westbound lanes.
- The ramp from I-80 eastbound to US 422 is CLOSED through July 2017. The detour is I-680 southbound to SR 711 northbound to US 422.
- The ramp from US 422 to I-80 westbound is CLOSED through September 2017. The detour is US 422 to SR 711 southbound to I-680 northbound to I-80 westbound.
- The ramp from SR 11 southbound to I-80 eastbound is CLOSED through September 2017. The detour is SR 711 southbound to Gypsy Lane eastbound to SR 193/Belmont Ave.
- This work is part of a $91.5 million project to widen I-80 between SR 11 and SR 193. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by late July 2018.
Niles Vienna Rd. in Vienna Township (until further notice)
Niles Vienna Rd. between Smith Stewart Rd. and Scoville North Rd. is currently closed through mid-May for a bridge replacement. The detour is Scoville North Rd. to SR 82. This work is part of a $1.6 million project to replace the Niles Vienna Rd. bridge, Risher Rd. bridge and the Pleasant Valley Rd. bridge in Trumbull County as part of the Ohio Bridge Partnership Program. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by July 2017.
US Route 62 in Hubbard and Brookfield Townships (until further notice)
I-80 at US 62 and US 62 under I-80 has occasional daily lane restrictions for pavement repairs and resurfacing. This work is part of a $9.8 million project to resurface US 62 from the northern Hubbard corporation limit to the Pennsylvania state line. The project also includes repairs to five bridges, including the replacement and widening of the I-80 bridges over US 62.The entire project is scheduled to be completed by November 2017.
State Route 14 in Goshen Township (Monday, April 10 – Friday, April 14)
Beginning Monday, April 10, SR 14 between Pine Lake Rd. and SR 14T will be closed through Friday, April 14 for a culvert replacement. The detour will be SR 14 to SR 45 to SR 165.
State Route 46 in Beaver, Green & Canfield Townships (until further notice)
SR 46 just north of Western Reserve Rd. is closed through mid-April for a culvert replacement. The detour is US 62 to SR 165. This work is part of a $2.4 million project to resurface SR 46 between the Columbiana County line and the southern Canfield Corporation limit. This project also includes two culvert replacements. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by early September 2017.
US 62 between Himrod Ave. and South Ave. is reduced to one lane in each direction through May 2017. This work is part of a $17 million project to make repairs to the US 62 bridge over the Mahoning River, Poland Ave., Cedar St., and the railroad. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by June 2017.
Interstate 80 in Austintown Township (until further notice)
I-80 westbound between SR 46 and the Trumbull County line has occasional lane restrictions for roadway widening Thiswork is part of a $91.5 million project to widen I-80 between SR 11 and SR 193. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by late July 2018.
COLUMBIANA COUNTY PROJECT:
District 11 in Columbiana county did not post a list of construction projects but provided a map.