A ramp closure on the busy Route 711 connector begins Friday.
The detour will be Gypsy Lane to US 422 and State Route 193 to I-680.
The ramp will be closed through October to repair a 40-year old bridge on I-680.
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.
Drivers should allow extra time, especially during the first week, while everyone gets used to the closure and new traffic flow.
Detours can be frustrating and a big change, whether you are driving for yourself or for a business. One company said they have dealt with this inconvenience before and are ready to handle it again.
Multiple crews from House Doctors go out every day to install windows and doors for customers. One of their favorite routes is going south on the Route 711 connector to I-680 South, which helps them get to Boardman and Poland faster.
“It’s going to be an inconvenience. It’s going to add more miles to our trip and we’re going to make a lot of bypass,” said John Bartos with House Doctors.
House Doctors has been making house calls for three decades. They did not have the Route 711 connector when the business opened. The three-mile connection between Girard and Youngstown was finished in 2005.
“That route has been a blessing to us. It helps us service our customers better. It helps us get to places quicker. It cuts a lot of time off of our day and a lot of traveling time,” Bartos said.
The business dealt with another inconvenience three years ago. The Tibbetts Wick bridge over Route 11 was fixed right next to their showroom.
They now have 17,000 customers and want to reach them as quickly as possible.
Bartos has seen a few accidents and trucks tipped over on the closing ramp. The business is staying the course and realize this connection is important.
“If we’re patient and let this follow through, I think it’ll be good for the whole community because we need good roads and we need safe roads, and I think that’s what attracts business and commerce in our area.”