Starting on Friday, drivers will have to be aware of a major detour along Interstate 680.
The ramp from State Route 711 southbound to I-680 southbound will close starting at 6 p.m. Friday. It will be closed through mid-October.
Justin Chesnic, with the Ohio Department of Transportation District 4, said it’s all part of a bridge repair project spanning three-and-a-half to four years and covering 16 different bridges along I-680.
“These bridges are all safe. The reconstructing we’re doing is a bridge that is 40 or 50 years old. It’s getting near the end of its useful life,” he said. “What we’re doing is putting brand new bridges there so folks can drive on them the next 50 to 60 years without problems.”
Chesnic said the project started last summer when they closed I-680 northbound for about 30 days. This year, they have a new focus.
“The reconstruction of the Cherry Hill Bridge and then the bridge over the railroad down there, the Youngstown and Austintown railroad.”
Even with all of the construction, Chesnik said they have detours in place.
If you’re coming from State Route 711:
– Get off at Gypsy Lane
– Take that to US-422
– Take that to State Route 193
– Get back on I-680, where you can go northbound or southbound from there
Also starting on Friday, drivers on I-680 northbound will be put into what is called a contraflow traffic pattern. Northbound drivers will be moved over to the southbound side, with a barrier separating them from southbound traffic.
“There will actually be three lanes of traffic on 680 southbound and then we’ll keep one lane on 680 northbound,” Chesnic said. “We’ll kind of push them over to the shoulder, then they can begin that bridge reconstruction work there on those two structures.”
Chesnic advises drivers to leave some extra time, especially during the first week, while everyone gets used to the closure. If you follow all of the posted detours, you should be right on track.