SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) — The Ohio Department of Transportation announced $1.92 billion in infrastructure improvements to mark the start of the 2021 construction season.
Across Ohio, more than 950 road construction projects will be underway, of those 74 are taking place across the Miami Valley which are worth about $125 million.
“We couldn’t even have a construction season kickoff. We were locked down because of the pandemic being fresh and we didn’t know what we could do safely,” said Jack Marchbanks, the director of ODOT.
Across ODOT’s District 7, which includes Augulaze, Clark, Miami, and Montgomery counties there are 65 new projects, 9 carryover projects, and 33 resurfacing projects.
One of the major projects is a lane addition for I-70, which began in 2018 and will wrap up in October 2021.
“This lane addition here in i-70 is important because it’s the last pinch point between Columbus and Dayton and will greatly improve freight traffic, mobility and safety throughout the state of Ohio,” Marchbanks said.
“We’re providing 3 continuous 12-foot lanes in each direction with some safety upgrades to the shoulders. Rebuilding the bridges over State Route 68 and 72. Some mild reconfigurations of the ramps to make them safer with traffic onto the interstate,” said Josh Bowman District 7 construction engineer. “It creates a lot less congestion,” he said.
Officials also kicked off the season reminding drivers to slow down as work ramps up.
“Without question, a work zone is a place where a driver must keep their full attention on the roadway and their surroundings,” said Danny Springs, with Ohio State Highway Patrol.