Drivers will start to notice a few more orange barrels on the roadways as the construction season kicks off.
The Ohio Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that construction crews will be working on over 90 projects in District 4 worth a total of $341 million across six counties including Ashtabula, Mahoning, Portage, Stark, Summit and Trumball counties.
Brent Kovacs, spokesman for ODOT District 4, said drivers should be prepared for the closure of I-277 eastbound for about 28 days between the Kenmore Leg and I-77 later this month.
“The main reason we are doing this is to expedite construction and give the contractor full access to the roadway, so they can get the work done in the 28 day period,” said Kovacs.
ODOT plans to close the westbound lane of I-277 in June.
Construction projects for 2012 include:
- The reconstruction of I-277/I-76/US 224 in the city of Akron.
- The resurfacing of I-271 from state Route 8 to the Cuyahoga County line.
- Bridge re-decking of seven bridges along I-77 in northern Summit County
ODOT is also focusing on the importance of communicating with businesses along heavy construction sites to create “Business Friendly Construction.”
District 4 Deputy Director Anthony Urankar said ODOT has found a way to keep Ohio's economy moving forward during heavy construction periods.
“The businesses are important, but the key is for us to let them know what we are doing beforehand so they can make adjustments,” said Urankar.
ODOT partnered with the city of Green to keep communication alive during the heavy construction project along Arlington Road.
“Every business was guaranteed that their entrance would remain open. Every business was guaranteed that there would be lots of signage alerting the public that they were open,” said Green Mayor Dick Norton.
Norton said businesses and residents are able to track every step of the construction process with online updates on the city’s website.
ODOT plans to partner with more cities in the future to ensure that businesses are not severely impacted by large construction projects.