HOWLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – A major road project in Trumbull County officially has entered the construction phase. We’ve been reporting on plans to improve safety at the intersection of state Routes 82 and 46 in Howland for years. Now, work is about to get underway.

“It really did take a village to make this critical safety project a reality,” said Gery Noirot, ODOT District 4’s deputy director.

At the former site of Howland’s Historic Yellow House on Wednesday, ODOT employees and other project stakeholders shoveled dirt, breaking ground on the $20 million Diverging Diamond Interchange Project.

“This intersection is one of the worst for traffic and for crashes in the area. We’re pleased that ODOT and the state is making the investment in this very important commercial corridor,” said Matthew Vansuch, a Howland Township trustee.

ODOT says more than 50,000 vehicles travel in this area each day. The goal of the project is to improve both congestion and safety.

“DDIs reduce crashes by approximately 40% and they also reduce injuries and fatal crashes by over 50%,” Noirot said.

Once complete, this will be the first diverging diamond interchange (DDI) in Northeast Ohio and third in the state.

“I think after it’s up and open and you come on it, you know, several times that I’ll get used to it,” said Charlene Allen of Howland Township.

It will be an active construction zone for quite some time, so drivers are encouraged to be patient. Starting on Thursday, Route 82 will be reduced to one lane in each direction. The ramp from E. Market Street to Route 82 east will also be closed for more than a year.

“That’s to permit us to reconstruct the state Route 82 over 46 bridges,” said Kurtis Brzyscz, ODOT project engineer.

Various intermittent lane restrictions on state Route 46 will occur during the project, all of which will be posted.

“We’re excited about kicking this off and we’re excited about this project. I just pledge to everybody, be patient during construction and keep your eye on the prize is when we get it done,” said Jim Kinnick with the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments.

The project is expected to be completed in the summer of 2026.