Two I-80 ramps open
GIRARD — Traveling the Interstate 80 corridor between state Route 46 in Austintown eastbound to Belmont Avenue in Liberty has been a challenge during the summer and early fall.
Things may be easing up just a bit for area motorists who have to maneuver around orange barrels and deal with traffic jams caused by recent semi accidents on the busy intercontinental roadway.
On Monday evening, the Ohio Department of Transportation opened two ramps at the I-80 / state Routes 711 and 11 interchange in Girard. Now open is the I-80 eastbound ramp to state Route 11 northbound. Also open is the state Route 711 northbound exit ramp linking it with I-80 eastbound.
However, driving off I-80 at Girard’s other interchange will be more difficult. ODOT as of Monday evening closed the ramp from South State Street to I-80 eastbound. Now three of the four ramps at that downtown Girard interchange are closed. The only one open is from I-80 westbound to South State Street (also known as U.S. Route 422).
ODOT said work is continuing on the $91.5 million project to widen I-80 between Austintown and Liberty. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by late July 2018.
Until further notice, state Route 711 northbound between Gypsy Lane and state Route 11 is being reduced to one lane for pavement replacement. ODOT said that work is expected to be completed by late November.
Meanwhile, traffic on I-80 eastbound between Salt Springs Road in Weathersfield and U.S. Route 422 in Girard is shifted over to the westbound lanes via a crossover condition, ODOT said. Two lanes will be maintained in each direction.
In the meantime, three ramps in the area that closed during the summer will remain closed at least until the summer of 2017, ODOT reported.
∫ The ramp from I-80 eastbound to U.S. 422 (South State Street in Girard) is closed through July.
∫ The ramps from U.S. 422 to I-80 westbound and from state Route 11 southbound to I-80 eastbound are closed through September 2017.
On Sept. 29, a fiery semi accident that spilled thousands of gallons of gasoline caused I-80 to close for hours causing major tie-ups. On Oct. 3, a rollover crash involving a tractor-truck on the interstate closed a portion of eastbound lanes between Belmont Avenue and Salt Springs Road.