by Diana Barnum
The 2002 ODOT (Ohio Department of Transportation) construction season
began with $1.3 billion in replacing and refurbishing bridges,
resurfacing, reconstruction, including 68 projects to improve Ohio's
And ODOT tackled the year with an additional $30 million
in construction strategies for reducing construction-related delays to
make work zones more convenient and less stressful for motorists.
• Nighttime Paving or Weekend Work
limiting some lane closures to off-peak hours, including nighttime and
weekends, when fewer motorists are traveling.
• Two-Lanes During
Daylight Hours on Interstates
Ohio may be the only state in the nation
requiring contractors to maintain at least two lanes of traffic in each
direction on the interstate during peak hours. Exceptions are only granted
under extreme circumstances.
• Bridge Widening and Temporary
To keep at least two lanes open in each direction during the
work, bridges will be widened and temporary pavement on highways will be
added prior to construction.
• Permitted Lane Closure Map
restricted lane and ramp closures based on traffic volumes and times of
• Incentive/Disincentive Contracts
This program rewards
contractors for completing the work early and assess fees for delays.
Longer Work Hours
With significant traffic impact projects, ODOT may
pay the contractor for more crews and/or longer work hours or work
• Delay Thresholds
Traffic backups predicted by ODOT's
computer software to be more than 3/4 of a mile that require motorists to
wait more than 10 minutes are considered unacceptable. The district office
must implement strategies to keep traffic moving.
• Incident Management
ODOT may call forth tow trucks and vehicles equipped with
push bumpers, either on site or on call, to quickly remove incidents such
as accidents, stalls and breakdowns in construction work zones.
Construction Communication Plans
To help minimize backups, ODOT will
work with local motorists and businesses to educate and prepare them for
Major Ohio projects that include at least one of these
congestion-reduction initiatives are:
• Reconstruction of
Interstate 670 in downtown Columbus - includes contractor disincentives of
$20,000 per day. ODOT and the City of Columbus reduced the construction
time from four years to 18 months.
• Reconstruction on Interstate 71 in
Wayne County and Interstate 90 in Cuyahoga County near Bratenahl - will
limit lane and ramp closures to nighttime hours. Contractors will be
assessed penalty fees for delays.
• Building a new interchange on
Interstate 75 and 70 in Miami County - ODOT will maintain three lanes in
each direction. Crews are working longer hours. And the contractor will be
assessed fees for delays.
• Pavement replacement projects on I-670 near
Grandview and I-270 on the southeast side of Columbus - will consistently
maintain two lanes in each direction using temporary pavement. The
contractor will be assessed penalty fees for delays.
During the past four years, central Ohio has undergone the
largest highway reconstruction effort in history: $400 million to rebuild
and expand portions of I-270 and I-71 on the north side, I-70 on the east
side and SR 315. A record 64 projects were booked in 2001 compared to 35
projects in 2002.
Those projects include:
• Interstate 670 Projects
(Arena District)- 2002 will go down as the year of I-670 ... ODOT opened a
new stretch of highway and began final reconstruction on another two.
• Contractors began work on the final phase of the Spring-Sandusky
Interchange between State Route 315 and I-71 ... a joint project between
ODOT and the City of Columbus. When it's completed, travel will be
possible along I-670 from the west side of Columbus to the airport for the
first time. And ODOT will open a new stretch of I-670 between Grandview
Ave. and SR 315.
• Interstate 270 - ODOT will resurface and reconstruct
aging sections of I-270 on the southeast side of Columbus between I-70 and
US 23 and on the west side between I-70 and US 33 in Dublin.
Route 161 - ODOT will replace deteriorated bridge decks on SR 315 over
State Route 3 in Westerville. One lane will be open in each direction.
• Projects Outside Franklin County
Outside of Franklin County,
there are small resurfacing and bridge repair projects. The completion of
the U.S. 35 projects in Fayette County, a combination of relocation and
new roadways projects, will make U.S. 35 a four-lane highway from
Chillicothe to Dayton. This is expected to encourage economic growth
throughout Ross and Fayette counties.
For more information about 2002
road construction projects, contact the Ohio Department of Transportation,
1980 W. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43223, or visit their website at: