COLUMBUS – The Memorial Day holiday is the unofficial start to summer and the beginning of the summer driving season. It’s also well into Ohio’s road construction busy-season which means holiday travelers will see orange barrels.
“We really need drivers to pay extra attention when passing through work zones. Even though we do what we can to make them as safe as possible, work zones can be dangerous places,” said Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jerry Wray. “Last year, there were 6,041 work zone crashes resulting in 28 deaths. Drivers need to slow down and be alert, especially in work zones.”
We typically see a 14 percent increase in traffic on Ohio roadways during the Memorial Day weekend. That makes it the fourth highest traveled holiday of the year. This year will be no different, with AAA predicting 1.4 million Ohioans will drive more than 50 miles from home during the holiday, an increase of 2.2 percent.
Due to these increases, ODOT works to reduce the size and impact of work zones as much as possible over the holiday weekend. Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead by following our social media accounts for traffic alerts and checking OHGO.com and the OHGO app to see work zone locations, live traffic conditions, and more than 600 live traffic cameras.
ODOT is also working with the Ohio State Highway Patrol to encourage those traveling by vehicle to buckle up. More than 130 digital highway message boards will display “CLICK IT OR TICKET” and “BUCKLE UP BUCKEYES” over the Memorial Day holiday. Last year, of the 15 traffic deaths over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, 4 were not wearing a seat belt.
Below are some of the state’s highway projects that could impact travel:
• Interstate 270/State Route 315/U.S. Route 23 (North Side), Franklin County
The speed limit is reduced to 55 mph on I-270 between US 23 and SR 315 as major construction to build new ramps and bridges is ongoing. Motorists should be aware of new ramp configurations:
Drivers coming from US 23 south to I-270 west will be on the ramp for a mile and pass over SR 315 before using the temporary ramp to merge onto I-270 west.
I-270 west traffic exiting at SR 315 will exit sooner – merge into the right lane for SR 315 north, stay in left lane on the ramp for SR 315 south.
Finally, traffic coming from SR 315 north to I-270 should stay in the left lane on the ramp. Drivers will go a mile on the ramp and travel under US 23 before merging onto I-270 east.
• U.S. Route 23 (South Side), Franklin County
US 23 will be reduced to two lanes southbound and one lane northbound on the bridge over SR 104. Additionally, the ramp from SR 104 east to US 23 will be reduced to one lane and there will be no left turns onto US 23 north. The detour is SR 104 east to Groveport Road to SR 104 west to US 23 north.
• U.S. Route 23 (Indianola Avenue) (North Side), Franklin County
The US 23 (Indianola Ave) bridge over Glen Echo will close to vehicles and pedestrians at 9 AM for six months for rehabilitation. Additionally, the stairs to the park on the northeast side of the side will not be accessible to pedestrians. The detour for vehicles is Arcadia Ave. to High St. to Weber Rd. or reverse. The pedestrian detour is Arcadia Ave. to Calumet St. to Olentangy St. or reverse.
• Interstate 70/State Route 310, Licking County
Work continues at SR 310, but all lanes will be open to traffic from noon Friday through 6am Tuesday. Drivers should expect lane shifts through the construction zone, but all lanes of traffic are maintained.
• Mink Street, Licking County
Mink Street, north of State Route 161, will be open to local traffic/residents only. Crews will continue to work on final asphalt paving operations through Friday. Final markings and reopening of Mink Street should occur by June 2.