Interchange project receives funding

HOWLAND — A project that would upgrade the interchange at state Routes 46 and 82 into a diverging diamond interchange is now fully funded.

The Eastgate Regional Council of Governments announced the final $7.5 million needed for the project was received from the Ohio Department of Transportation Safety Program.

The next step is to award the project to a consultant to design it fully, explained Brent Kovacs, public information officer for ODOT District 4.

The $25 million project also will include work on state Route 82 / Howland-Wilson Road intersection, and the state Route 46 / Warren-Sharon Road intersection in Howland, according to the release.

“I am excited that we were able to piece together a funding package for this much needed highway safety improvement project. I certainly appreciate the collaboration of the agencies involved and the support of the public,” Jim Kinnick, Eastgate’s executive director, said in the announcement.

A safety study completed earlier this year included plans to make the interchange at state Routes 46 and 82, just north of the Lowe’s home improvement store in Howland, into a diverging diamond interchange (DDI).

Changing the interchange into a DDI will improve traffic flow, Justin Chesnic, public information officer with ODOT District 4, previously said.

Other projects associated with the DDI include a proposed right-in only on state Route 82 at Howland-Wilson Road; an extension of Kenyon Drive to Howland Springs Road, where it intersects with state Route 46; intersection improvements on state Route 46 at Warren-Sharon; and widening along the state Route 46 corridor from 82 to Warren-Sharon.

Another project as part of the DDI is to extend the median on state Route 82, cul-de-sac Howland Wilson Road on both sides and remove the traffic signals. — this would permit only right-turn movements from 82 to Howland-Wilson Road.

Construction on the project is expected to start in late 2022 or early 2023.