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Ohio Turnpike construction season kicks off this week

By Norwalk Reflector staff • Apr 2, 2019 at 1:00 PM

BEREA — As the Ohio Turnpike’s 2019 construction season kicks off this week, the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission anticipates spending as much as $198 million on projects throughout northern Ohio.

“For the safety of our workers and customers, please drive like you work here and slow down in work zones,” executive director Ferzan Ahmed said. “As you approach those orange barrels, please picture a member of your family on the other side of them and use appropriate care.”

The focus of the construction will be on improving safety and the travel experience on the turnpike. Identified infrastructure improvements include pavement replacement and resurfacing, bridge rehabilitation and an expanded toll plaza.

Some of the projects will be in Erie and Sandusky counties.

Pavement repairs and resurfacing will happen in Erie County. Beginning April 29 until Oct. 30, eastbound and westbound turnpike customers traveling in this area will encounter lane closures on the mainline for pavement repairs and resurfacing from milepost 122.9 to milepost 127.09. Two lanes will be maintained during the day and a single lane in each direction will be maintained at night.

In Erie and Lorain counties, there will be bridge deck replacement of five overhead bridges. Those locations are: River Road (milepost 120), Wikel Road (milepost 121.9), Chapin Road (milepost 123.1), Ohio 60 (milepost 131.6) and Gifford Road (milepost 135.4).

Work on these five bridges was scheduled to begin Monday and should be completed Oct. 1. Motorists will encounter full detours for about 90 days at each location, although Wikel Road will not be closed at the same time as either River or Chapin roads. Mosser Construction Co. is the contractor for the replacement projects, with a contract amount of $4.37 million.

A bridge replacement is under way in Sandusky and Lucas counties. Work has begun to remove and replace the Perrysburg-Holland Road bridge over the mainline (milepost 50). A full detour was implemented Feb. 25 and will be in place for a maximum of 200 days, through about Sept 12.

Also, motorists will encounter a full detour of Hessville Road for a bridge deck replacement of the Hessville Road/Township Road 92 bridge over the mainline (milepost 84.4). The detour will begin about April 22 and continue for a maximum of 120 days, through about Sept. 18.

Kokosing Construction Co. is the contractor for these two projects, with a contract amount of $5.5 million.

To limit delays for customers, the turnpike commission will strive to maintain two lanes of traffic in all three-lane sections of the turnpike during peak travel times. Turnpike officials said some single-lane zones will be necessary, but will occur mostly during off-peak travel times or overnight. A substantial portion of all projects is expected to be completed by early November.

Customers are encouraged to visit www.ohioturnpike.org or follow the commission Twitter or Facebook pages for up-to-date information on construction locations and traffic incidents.

The full-depth excavation and pavement replacement program, which began in 2011, includes the continuation of pavement replacement projects with one in Lorain and Cuyahoga counties (from North Ridgeville to Olmsted Township) and another in Cuyahoga and Summit counties (from Broadview Heights to Boston Township). The eastbound sections were completed late last year and crews will begin work on the westbound sides this month.

On a combined basis, pavement replacement and resurfacing projects comprise about one third of the budget for 2019.

Turnpike bridges will see major work this year, with more than $40 million (comprising 40 percent of the 2019 capital budget) in various bridge repair, removal, repainting and deck-widening and replacement projects. Two of them include pavement widening in anticipation of the infrastructure required to modernize the toll-collection system.

Construction is beginning on two new toll lanes, booths and canopies to accommodate an increase in traffic and to improve ease of travel at Exit 180 (Route 8/Akron). This project will be completed in November.


The other major construction projects, from west to east are: 

• Williams County: Pavement repairs and resurfacing for the eastbound and westbound lanes (mileposts 8.2 to 14.8) and the eastbound lanes (mileposts 2.87 to 8.2).

The work for this project will be accomplished in three phases. Phase I will start April 8 and the final phase will run from Sept. 3 until Nov. 5.

Fulton County, deck replacement and rehabilitation: Mainline westbound and eastbound over inactive railroad (milepost 34.2). 

This project began Monday and should be ending Nov. 14. Twin mainline bridges over an inactive railroad will be removed at milepots 34.2 and replaced with new pavement at the location of the existing bridges. This removal is being performed to reduce future bridge maintenance costs.

There also will be a bridge deck replacement and widening, covering the mainline westbound and eastbound over Ohio 108 (exit 34, milepost 34.5). This project also began Monday and should be ending Nov. 14.

Bridge deck replacement over the turnpike on Wauseon-Ottokee Road/County Road 14 (milepost 35.2) will be begin in the spring and end Nov. 14

Fulton and Lucas counties: Bridge deck widening and replacement of two mainline bridges over AI Creek (milepost 47.4) and Ohio 64/North Main Street (milepost 47.5); and pavement widening from milepost 46.5 to 50.92. Work is scheduled to be completed by Dec. 9.

Wood and Ottawa counties: Widening and replacing the Ohio Turnpike ramp bridge deck over Ohio 420/I-280 (milepost 71.4); bridge deck replacement of South Billman Road/Township Road 54 over the mainline (milepost 75.2). 

Southbound travelers on Ohio 420 entering the turnpike at Exit 71 encountered a detour beginning Monday, which will run through Oct. 1. A full detour of South Billman Road will begin April 15 and go through about Oct. 1.

Lorain County: Mainline bridge deck overlay over Quarry Road (milepost 138) and a bridge removal over an inactive railroad (milepost 138.2). Work on the bridge removal over the inactive railroad began in 2018 and is scheduled to be completed in December. 

Lorain and Cuyahoga counties: Full-depth excavation and pavement replacement of the right and center lanes westbound between milepost 154.1 to 149.2. The project started Tuesday and the estimated completion date is December.

Cuyahoga and Summit counties: Full-depth excavation and pavement replacement will occur in the westbound center lane, right lane and right shoulder from milepost 169.1 to 176.3; and also on the northbound ramp from the turnpike to I-77. The project started Tuesday and the estimated completion date is December.

Portage County: Eastbound mainline bridge deck replacement over the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railroad tracks at milepost 186. The project will begin this month and continue until about Oct. 1.

Portage and Trumbull counties, Pavement repairs and resurfacing, which will begin June 3 and go until about Nov. 24.

Mahoning County: Bridge removal on the mainline over Mill Creek Bikeway (milepost 223).

The work began in 2018 and is scheduled to be completed about Nov. 1. The 2019 construction involves a bike detour, the removal of twin mainline bridges over the Mill Creek Bikeway and installing a pre-fabricated concrete structure. A new permanent bike path will be built through the construction area. 

Also in Mahoning County are the bridge deck widening and replacement of two mainline bridges over Poland-Unit Road (milepost 237.8) and over Columbia-New Castle Road (milepost 238.1). Work already has begun and is scheduled to be completed by Oct. 15.

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