DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) - The final phase of a decade long project to reconstruct I-75 will soon be underway.
Next month, expect more exits to be closed and orange barrels to be out. between Fifth and Main streets in downtown Dayton.
The second and final phase of the I-75 modernization project will create a single-centrally located interchange for downtown Dayton, provide three continuous through lanes on both the north and southbound sides, and replace 12 aging bridges.
Officials say it will improve traffic flow by reducing congestion, and increase safety by eliminating confusion with left handed entrances and exits.
The stretch of 75 averages approximately 115,000 vehicles daily.
The split interchange will be in the area of First and Third streets.
Construction is scheduled to begin in the Fall of 2012. Next month, all northbound ramps to First, Second, and Third streets will be closed. In December, the southbound exits and entrances will be closed at First, Second and Third streets.
ODOT officials said drivers will be able to use Main street and US 35 to get to downtown Dayton. Third street will remain open, but have lane restrictions in 2016.
Also in December, all 75 traffic will be shifted to the northbound lanes. Two lanes will be utilized to maintain northbound traffic and three lanes for southbound traffic. Officials said both directions of traffic should be switched to its respective lanes by 2016.
Salem Avenue Bridge, First street, and Second street will close in 2012, but officials said will reopen to drivers by 2016 before Third street restrictions are started.
"Safety is our number one priority," said Randy Chevalley, who is the Deputy Director for District 7. "During this project, we will reduce the speed limit to 45 mph in construction zones. We will also be looking into other ways to make the roadway less confusing during this time. Results from a survey said people liked the idea of 'Pavement Tattoos'."
Kokosing Construction Company out of Columbus is the Contractor on this project which is estimated to cost $126 million.
The final phase is expected to be completed in Fall of 2017.
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