LIMA — The process of placing portions of Interstate 75 into a contraflow pattern is slightly behind schedule, but will be in place by Thursday or Friday.
Because of bad weather Monday, Ohio Department of Transportation Public Information Officer Rhonda Pees said workers fell behind.
“They began to mobilize the barrier wall,” Pees said. “It will take several days and the weather [Monday] was hampering that. We still expect to have the traffic into that pattern by Thursday or Friday.”
Two lanes of traffic will be maintained from just south of Fourth Street to McClain Road until the switch is completed. Once the concrete barrier is finished, there will be two lanes of northbound traffic and one lane of southbound traffic. The southbound lane will separate at the median so two lanes of traffic can still be maintained.
Pees said this method will allow for two lanes of traffic while allowing for a safe work zone for road contractors.
Drivers wishing to exit in the southbound lane onto state Route 65 will be directed into the right lane for the remainder of the project.
Early next week, traffic in the southbound lane will briefly be closed to one lane through the work zone while beams are set for the bridge over the CF&E Railroad. Occasional lane restrictions will occur throughout the project during all hours.
Both exit and entrance ramps are shortened as a result of the project and drivers are encouraged to stay in the passing lanes if they do not plan to exit.
The state Route 65 entrance ramp to I-75 North is closed and will remained closed until the project’s completion in 2016. Traffic is detoured south to National Road and then back to the highway. Traffic on state Route 65 has been shifted to temporary pavement while existing pavement is reconstructed. Pees said traffic will shift to the new pavement within the next few weeks.
The Hanthorn Road bridge closed in May for reconstruction will remain closed until the end of the project. The Breese Road Bridge closed for reconstruction will likely be open in October. The Breese Road interchange is expected to reopen in mid-September. The southbound exit and entrance ramps will remain closed for two to three more weeks and be detoured to National Road and Dixie Highway back onto Breese Road.
The northbound exit and entrance ramps are also closed until mid-September. Traffic is being directed to access I-75 from National Road.
The Medical Drive entrance south of the Orthopaedic Institute of Ohio remains closed to the general public.
Pees said the comprehensive reconstruction program on I-75 has completed the first phase. Phase two, originally scheduled for completion in 2015, is well ahead of schedule. Pees said no-excuse incentives have been offered to contractors, and if met, work could be finished by Nov. 1.
Phase 3 was determined to be right on schedule.
Federal funds are paying for 90 percent of the work on I-75 and 80 percent of the work on connecting roads, interchanges and ramps.