While state officials ramp up the largest highway construction program in Ohio history, they also are working to determine what went wrong with part of a project that started four summers ago and, for the most part, was finished last year.
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Several long, lengthwise cracks formed in I-475’s freshly rebuilt pavement between Douglas Road and I-75 in West Toledo — including a particularly long and prominent one along the eastbound right lane — and the Ohio Department of Transportation has taken pavement samples nearby to find out why. The cracks’ cause could be a design flaw, a materials problem, or faulty workmanship, said Todd Audet, ODOT’s district deputy director in Bowling Green.
Besides the matter of developing a solution that matches the cause, he said, officials want to know if they should change plans for the upcoming I-75 reconstruction between I-475 and Phillips Avenue.
“We want to make sure we don’t replicate the problem,” Mr. Audet said. “Nobody wants to see that crack in the pavement, but we need to understand why it’s there and fix it.”
While all major work ended in the fall, the $64 million contract with E.S. Wagner of Toledo is not officially complete, he said, so if state officials decide the problem is the contractor’s fault, they could order corrective measures.
“The work hasn’t been accepted — it hasn’t been approved,” Mr. Audet said.
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