Drivers traveling the Ohio Turnpike through the Akron area can expect to encounter orange barrels in several areas when the state's annual construction season kicks off this week.
The Ohio Turnpike is constructing two new toll lanes, booths and canopies "to accommodate an increase in traffic and improve ease of travel" at the state Route 8 exit (Exit 180) in Boston Heights, the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission announced Monday. The work is expected to be done by November.
Repairs and reconstruction of the northbound Interstate 77 ramps to and from the Ohio Turnpike will take place at I-77/state Route 21 (Exit 173) in Richfield. Drivers will be detoured to state Route 21. Construction is expected to wrap up in December.
Work on the eastbound mainline bridge over the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railroad tracks in Portage County also is taking place. Crews began working on replacing the bridge deck in 2018. Work is expected to be done by October.
In addition, full-depth excavation and pavement replacement of the westbound lanes will take place from Broadview Heights to Boston Township. The eastbound sections were completed late last year.
The area projects are among as much as $198 million in construction work planned this summer and fall along the 241-mile toll road through northern Ohio.
The commission is encouraging drivers to proceed with caution while construction is occurring.
“As you approach those orange barrels, please picture a member of your family on the other side of them and use appropriate care,” Executive Director Ferzan Ahmed said in a prepared statement.
Other projects planned in the region along the Ohio Turnpike include:
• Redoing the westbound right and center lanes on the turnpike in Cuyahoga and Lorain counties. Drivers using Exit 152 at state Route 10 in North Olmsted must use the right lane.
• Paving and resurfacing eastbound and westbound lanes in Portage and Trumbull counties June 3 through Nov. 24.
Brandon Bounds can be reached at 330-996-3762 or email@example.com. Follow Bounds on Twitter at brandonbounds_.