COLUMBUS – The Memorial Day Weekend has historically had the highest number of serious injuries and the third-highest number of fatalities of all major holidays on Ohio roads between 2009-2013.
May 18-31, 2015 is National Seat Belt Enforcement Mobilization and the Ohio Department of Transportation is reminding drivers and passengers to “Click It or Ticket.”
In Ohio, about 37 percent of all traffic deaths involve unbelted drivers and passengers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, lap and shoulder belts reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passengers by 45 percent and the risk of moderate to serious injuries by 50 percent. Ohio’s seat belt use rate is about 85 percent, lower than surrounding states such as Indiana and Michigan.
“We know seatbelts save lives and we all need to do better when it comes to buckling up,” said ODOT Director Jerry Wray.
With more cars on the road during Memorial Day Weekend, motorists can ease frustration by planning ahead, especially when driving through construction zones. Below are some of the state’s highway projects that could impact your travel:
U.S. Route 40 (West Broad Street), Franklin County
Two lanes of traffic are being maintained in each direction from I-270 to Norton Rd. Traffic is reduced to one lane in each direction from Norton Rd. to Hilliard-Rome Rd. for a widening project.
Interstate 270/U.S. Route 23 (North Side Fix), Franklin County
Widen U.S. 23 from four to six lanes from I-270 to Lazelle Rd. Construct U.S. 23 northbound “trench” from north of I-270 to south of Northwoods Blvd. Reconfigure the ramps at I-270/U.S. 23
U.S. Route 22, Fairfield County
U.S. Route 22 is closed near Rushville over Little Rush Creek. The previous bridge was demolished and construction of a new bridge has begun. Motorists will detour via SR 664 to SR 37 and back to U.S. 22.
Interstate 70, Belmont County
Bridge rehabilitation and removal project about a ½ mile east of the SR 800/Barnesville exit. Four lanes of traffic are maintained using a contraflow pattern, meaning two lanes of traffic will be maintained in each direction; however, one direction is split.
Interstate 70, Belmont County
Three structures are being replaced, including the Marion St. Bridge over I-70 and the eastbound on and off ramp structures to I-70. The Marion Street Bridge is closed to traffic as well as the westbound on ramp to I-70, and both the I-70 eastbound ramps. The westbound off ramp remains open. Local northbound traffic wanting to access I-70 eastbound is detoured to Wheeling Island. Local traffic is detoured on U.S. 40 from Bridgeport to the Belmont CR 214 exit. Access to Bridgeport continues to be maintained; however, thru truck traffic is encouraged to use I-470 to avoid congestion and possible delays.
State Route 7, Jefferson County
SR 7 is reduced to one lane between Brilliant and Rush Run for landslide repairs.
Interstate 70, Clark County
I-70 between Enon Rd. and U.S. Route 68 is under construction due to a lane addition project. Motorists will encounter orange barrels with at least two lanes open both eastbound and westbound.
Interstate 75, Miami/Shelby County
I-75 near CR 25A (Farrington) north of Troy is under construction. Two lanes of traffic will remain open in each direction. The ramp from I-75 south to CR 25A is closed. Motorists need to stay alert, as traffic patterns are currently not in their traditional places at this location.
State Route 2, Lorain County
SR 2, between the Ohio Turnpike/I-90 split and Middle Ridge Rd., is reduced to narrowed lanes of traffic for a major bridge rehabilitation project. Two lanes of westbound traffic are maintained using a contraflow traffic pattern where one lane for local traffic is maintained on the westbound side. Two lanes of traffic will be maintained at all times in both directions. Motorists are encouraged to use extreme caution while navigating this work zone and watch for slower moving traffic as it merges in to an open lane. The project is expected to be complete in October 2016.
U.S. Route 250 and Perkins Avenue, Erie County
U.S. Route 250 south/eastbound is reduced to one lane of traffic at its intersection with Perkins Ave. in the city of Sandusky as part an intersection improvement project. Perkins Ave. traffic also has lane restrictions for utility work.
Interstate 76/Kenmore Leg in the city of Akron, Summit County
I-76/Kenmore Leg westbound between I-77 and I-277 is CLOSED through early June for pavement repairs and resurfacing. As a result, the following ramps are closed through early June as well:
· The ramp from I-77 southbound to I-76/Kenmore Leg westbound. The detour is I-76 eastbound to I-77 southbound to I-277 westbound.
· The ramp from I-77 northbound/I-76 westbound to I-76/Kenmore Leg westbound. The detour is I-77 northbound to SR 21 southbound.
· The ramp from 22nd St. to I-76/Kenmore Leg/ westbound. The detour is Kenmore Blvd. to SR 93 south to Waterloo Rd. to I-277.
Interstate 271 in Richfield Village and Richfield Township, Summit County
Motorists traveling on I-271 northbound from just south of Broadview Rd. to just south of SR 303 should be aware of a bi-directional traffic pattern. Although two lanes of traffic are maintained in each direction on I-271 northbound traffic will be split, with one lane of northbound traffic crossed over onto I-271 southbound, while the second lane remains on I-271 northbound.
Interstate 271 in the City of Macedonia, Summit County
I-271 between SR 8 and the Cuyahoga County line has various nightly lane restrictions between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. for roadway widening. The speed limit in this area will be reduced to 50 mph during construction.