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T-intersection key part of I-680/US 224 construction effort



Published: Wed, July 2, 2014 @ 12:06 a.m.

By JORDYN GRZELEWSKI

jgrzelewski@vindy.com

BOARDMAN

Construction on U.S. Route 224 at its intersections with Interstate 680 by the Ohio Department of Transportation advanced with the opening of a T-intersection, with a traffic light at 680 southbound exits to 224 eastbound and westbound.

“That was one of the main things we were trying to do with this project, was try to make that intersection safer” with the addition of the T-intersection and traffic light, said Brent Kovacs, ODOT District 4 spokesman.

Before the installation of the traffic light at the intersection, there were two separate exits for 224 eastbound and westbound, and motorists had to merge onto 224. Motorists now turn left onto 224 eastbound and right onto 224 westbound when they reach the light.

In addition to the T-intersection, the construction project includes the widening of the bridge over I-680 and changes to the exit ramps in that area.

The ramp from 224 eastbound to 680 northbound has been relocated about 700 feet to the east, according to Kovacs. Traffic from 680 southbound to 224 has been redirected to the newly constructed southbound exit ramp, which is where the traffic light was installed. The bridge is being widened to include an additional lane in each direction.

Traffic on both sides of the bridge is down to one lane.

The project began in July 2013 to deal with safety issues.

“That is really the goal of this project, to increase the safety of that intersection, in addition to helping alleviate congestion in that area,” Kovacs said.

Some businesses in the area, however, expressed frustration with the construction project that has caused significant traffic delays for the past year.

“Business is slower than it usually is, especially on the weekends,” said Rose Rovnak, a manager at Classic Bakery at 7135 Tiffany Blvd.

Rovnak said the construction started to affect business several months ago when the bridge over 680 was shut down to a single lane in each direction.

“Everybody’s summer around here is going to be a little slower, I guess,” Rovnak said.

The entire construction project is scheduled to be complete in October of this year, according to Kovacs.

Rovnak said business also has been affected by other construction projects such as on Mathews and Sheridan roads in Boardman, the intersection of which closed last month for the construction of a roundabout. The intersection is expected to remain closed until the beginning of the upcoming school year.


Comments

1redvert(2075 comments)posted 3 months, 3 weeks ago

When the north side of the bridge was being rebuilt, traffic actually moved fairly well considering that it was one lane in each direction. What I do not understand is why they screwed up the format now that the south side is being rebuilt.

Let me explain, when the north side was being rebuilt, eastbound traffic on 224 merged into the left lane to cross the bridge while the right lane traffic was to turn south on Tiffany or south on I-680. A small amount of congestion from time to time at the merge point but not bad.

Now, with the south side of the bridge being rebuilt, when you get to the Poland post office you see a sign telling you that the left lane is closed. If you move to the right lane and then wish to cross the bridge you will eventually have to move back to the left lane which is the one crossing the bridge , the same setup that was used in the first half of the construction. The current pattern also jams up all 224 and I-680 traffic in one lane. No reason to tie up northbound I-680 traffic. Most drivers that understand that the directions are screwed up stay in the left lane unless they want to go onto I-680 north. Would it not make more sense to direct all westbound 224 traffic to the left lane and all northbound I-680 traffic to the right lane, again, the same pattern that worked before.

Maybe if enough people voice their opinions, the powers that be will fix the obvious error.

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2redeye1(4564 comments)posted 3 months, 3 weeks ago

To all of the so-called civil engineers hired to do this job. Get off your arse and go out to see what kind of mess you have created. As the above poster stated change the signs and get things right. Secondly when coming from Boardman Why are there barrels in the middle of the road on east side of the bridge. All they are doing is slowing traffic exiting from I 680, if they are moved people could exit a lot easier instead of waiting on the light to change
Maybe Ohio should test these people in common sense before hiring them

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