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ODOT: Rain won’t detour timely end to I-475 project

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At various times, work closed off all eastbound I-475 entrances east of Secor Road and the busy westbound Douglas Road exit.

THE BLADE/LORI KING
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While rain predicted Tuesday night prompted state officials to postpone ramp repaving in the I-475 construction zone for a day, the freeway’s three-plus years of reconstruction and widening stayed on track to end by the middle of next month, an Ohio Department of Transportation spokesman said.

During the weekend, work crews shifted westbound traffic between I-75 and Monroe Street from the left lanes to the right lanes so that the left lanes’ final surface can be paved. A similar traffic flip occurred on the eastbound side two weeks earlier.

“To be at this point is what a lot of people who drive that corridor every day have been looking forward to for a long time,” said Theresa Pollick, a spokesman for ODOT’s district office in Bowling Green.

Overhead bridge painting this weekend will reduce traffic from two lanes to one on both southbound I-75 and the ramp from northbound I-75 to westbound I-475, Ms. Pollick said.

After the final paving, she said, lane-stripe painting and sign work will keep lanes closed on I-475. “But we hope to see these closures end within the next two weeks,” she said. That’s subject to weather, she said.

E.S. Wagner of Toledo began work in August, 2010, on the $64 million project, which included replacing four scattered ramps to or from Jackman Road, Central Avenue, and Upton Avenue, with a full interchange at a new ProMedica Parkway overpass.

At times, the work closed all eastbound I-475 entrances east of Secor Road and the busy westbound Douglas Road exit. Heavy rain in 2011 delayed its completion for nearly a year by thwarting construction and causing the partial collapse of a slope on the westbound side that had been excavated for a retaining wall.

The eastbound ProMedica entrance is closed until Oct. 31 while a noise wall is built.

The project included replacing the single-lane ramp from eastbound I-475 to northbound I-75 with a two-lane ramp, although only one of those lanes will be open until I-75 is widened from two lanes to three between I-475 and Phillips Avenue. That work is set to start in 2015, as is a companion project to add a third I-75 lane from Phillips to I-280.

Contact David Patch at: dpatch@theblade.com or 419-724-6094.

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