Work begins Aug. 2 on the Interstate 75 and 475 Interchange project that will take three years to complete the modernization of the 40-year-old interstate system in Toledo by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT).
“This is a great project that will do important things for the community. We work for and with you together to manage it the best we can,” said David Dysard, deputy director of ODOT District 2 at a public meeting held July 27 at the Sanger Branch of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library.
The update project will widen I-475 in both directions from I-75 to Rushland Avenue, close existing on and off ramps at Central and Upton avenues and Jackman Road, reconstruct the Douglas Road ramps and build a new interchange at ProMedica Parkway for better access to Toledo Hospital and that area.
The $63.9 million construction project will take three years to complete with the majority of the work completed in late 2012, and resurfacing and bridge painting in 2013, according to ODOT officials.
Two lanes will remain open to traffic on I-475 from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily and be reduced to one lane at night during construction. The Monroe Street onramp to eastbound I-475 will be closed Aug. 2 to eliminate merging traffic into the construction lanes.
The update project will feature a new full-diamond interchange at ProMedica Parkway with a bridge over I-475 just north of Central. Access to Toledo Hospital will be maintained during construction as exit 19 off eastbound I-475 to Central and ProMedica Parkway will remain open until the new interchange opens in late 2011 or early 2012.
The ProMedica Parkway Interchange will replace the onramps to I-475 from Central and Upton avenues, as well as the Jackman Road exit.
The Upton/Kelly ramp to eastbound I-475 will be closed permanently in August. The onramp from Upton to westbound I-475 will be closed when the new ProMedica interchange is opened in 2011 or 2012.
Upton will be reduced to one lane in each direction from Georgia to Central for bridge construction beginning in August through 2012. Central will be reduced to one lane in each direction from Jackman to Upton for bridge construction during that same period.
The Jackman Road exit off Westbound I-475 will be closed permanently after the opening of the new ProMedica Parkway interchange.
The Sherbrooke Road Bridge over I-475 will be closed for rebuilding from August 2010 to 2012 as part of the project.
The Douglas Road eastbound onramp and westbound offramp for I-475 will be closed for nine to 12 months beginning in the fall of 2010 or spring of 2011, said Dysard.
The Auburn and Central avenues and Douglas Road bridge abutments were moved last year to accommodate this project and the bridges will remain open during the I-475 construction. The current traffic configuration for the I-75 and I-475 interchange will be maintained in existing lanes and shoulders.
The ramps from eastbound I-475 to Jeep Parkway and from North Cove Boulevard to westbound I-475 will be closed in August through completion of that section in 2012.
The project will reconfigure the I-75 and I-475 interchange by adding another lane to the ramps from southbound I-75 to westbound I-475 and from eastbound I-475 to northbound I-75.
However, these new lanes won’t be accessible until the future I-75 widening project is completed. Dysard said they don’t have funding yet for the I-75 project planned from LaGrange Street to I-280.
A construction speed limit of 50 mph will be maintained on I-475 during the project.
The speed limit will be enforced by the Ohio State Highway Patrol and Toledo Police, according to Toledo Police Chief Mike Navarre.
ODOT officials stressed the importance of drivers slowing down and refraining from using cell phones in the construction zones for safety issues.
The I-75 and I-475 Interchange update will be constructed by a local firm and workers, creating and maintaining jobs in the Toledo area.
The project was awarded to the E.S. Wagner Company of Oregon, which submitted a bid of $63.9 million for it.
The project will be built on a five-day workweek schedule with Saturday serving as a makeup day.
“We will be hiring some full- and part-time union contractors for this project,” said John Wagner, vice president of E.S. Wagner.
Wagner said the construction project is one of the largest highway projects the firm has undertaken. The company is involved in the widening of Wheeling Street in Oregon for ODOT.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the interstate update project was scheduled July 30 at Kelly Avenue and Bigelow Street in Toledo near the onramp to eastbound I-475.