The westbound lanes of I-277 are open to traffic, following a month long closure for resurfacing and other work between I-77 and the Kenmore Leg.
"It went really well," said Ohio Department of Transportation Spokesman Justin Chesnic. "They got in there, milled off the surface, made the pavement repairs and got the new asphalt down."
The eastbound lanes were closed for a month earlier this year. Chesnic says closing down all lanes instead of single lane or intermittent closures reduced the amount of time to complete both sides of the highway from about two years to just two months.
ODOT officials said by completely closing I-277 during construction, there were "zero work zone injuries."
There is, however, still more work to be completed.
"There are some bridges we're still working on throughout the area," said Chesnic.
Also, the southbound portion of the Kenmore Leg will be closed for a week sometime in August. ODOT hasn't determined the exact timeframe.
Construction is right on track as crews prepare for the next steps to resurface Interstate 277 east.
ODOT spokesman Justin Chesnic said despite some crowding on the roads, motorists have been able to get around the closure with little problems.
"We've had a few complaints, but actually, we had a lot of people very surprised at how well traffic has been moving with the complete closure." Chesnic said.
Chesnic said the contractor has made concrete repairs and starting next week, crews will start paving the road.
"The old pavement has been removed and the repairs are almost completed, said Chesnic."And from there, we are going to focus on the resurfacing of the road and doing some more overlays on the bridges."
Motorists also noticed a list of ramp closures that followed after I-277 closed. Chesnic said some of the ramp closures were intended to reduce merging traffic.
"We are moving and detouring about 60,000 vehicles. There are a few ramps that were closed that people are not going to see construction."
The ramp closures include:
Chesnic said construction is on schedule and I-277 east is expected to reopen May 21st.
Drivers will still have to adjust their routes starting in June as ODOT closes the Kenmore Leg for one week in each direction. However, the closures will not occur at the same time.
ODOT officials are investigating what caused a large light pole to fall onto the eastbound lanes of I-76 near the Arlington Street exit in Akron early Tuesday afternoon.
ODOT spokesman Justin Chesnic tells AkronNewsNow such collapses are very rare and they're lucky that no vehicles were hit by the falling pole or debris.
"Our belief is it either could be the wind, the higher speed of wind we've had over the past few days that have been pretty continual could have knocked those over, or they would tend to fall over if they're struck by a truck or a car, or something of that nature," says Chesnic.
The collapse narrowed traffic to only one lane for a couple of hours while the light pole was removed. There were no injuries.
"We're investigating to find out in the near future how this happened. These light poles are inspected whenever we go out We have a contractor that fixes lights that are burned out. They will inspect those (poles) every once in a while. There's no strict inspection guidelines for example like our bridges and our roads, which we inspect every year. But they are looked at whenever repairs are made to the lights," says Chesnic.
The light pole that collapsed was anchored to a concrete median on I-76.
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