Highway construction returns in full force next week to Interstate 76 in Norton and Barberton.

Multiple ramps will be closed starting Monday and workers will begin the process of shifting the traffic pattern along the highway.

The work is part of the Ohio Department of Transportation’s ongoing $80.4 million project to reconstruct and widen the highway to three lanes in each direction.

Norton Police Chief John Dalessandro warned motorists to be careful.

“The biggest issue in that construction zone is people need to pay attention,” he said. “Stay off the phone and focus in the construction zone because it does get hairy.”

A Norton police officer who was assigned to the area to protect construction workers doing prep work even had his police vehicle rear-ended recently because a driver was distracted, the chief said. There were no injuries.

The following ramps will be closed:

• State Route 21 southbound to I-76 eastbound through early May.

• I-76 eastbound to Route 21 northbound through early May.

• Barber Road to I-76 eastbound through early July.

Eastbound motorists also will encounter a bi-directional traffic pattern, which involves two lanes of traffic being split. One lane will cross over onto the I-76 westbound side of the highway.

The construction has caused angst for many motorists because of the tightness of the lanes. The number of vehicles using I-76 each day varies through the area, but peaks at more than 70,000 in Barberton. The project is slated to be completed by late July 2019.

ODOT urged people to visit its www.dothedetour.org website to view the upcoming construction work.

Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or rarmon@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @armonrickABJ.