New Grant Avenue Bridge Coming this Summer as 70/71 Work Starts Up Again
The Ohio Department of Transportation has announced a new timeline for the next five phases of its multi-year Interstate 70/71 split project.
Work will begin this summer on the first phase, which will include improvements to a stretch of Mound Street between High Street and Fourth Street (an extension of the Mound Street Connector that was completed in 2014), and a new bridge over I-70 at Grant Avenue.
The new bridge will feature decorative fencing and ten-foot sidewalks. Also part of this first phase of work – which officially goes by the name of Phase 2G – is the removal of the pedestrian walkway that spans the highway at the site of the former Africentric High School.
A large portion of Fulton Street will also get a redesign, with new landscaping and a bike lane. Fulton will eventually serve as the feeder street for all eastbound cars exiting the highway and traveling into downtown – Mound Street is already functioning as the funnel for west-bound cars.
Nancy Burton, spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), said that work on Phase 2G will start in July or August of this year, with a completion date of sometime in the fall of 2018.
The four additional phases will be tackled consecutively, with construction starting on a new one each year:
- Starting in 2018, the new Fulton Street layout and improvements will be extended to Third Street. On the east end of downtown, Fulton will be connected to eastbound I-70 via a new entrance ramp. (Phase 2E)
- In 2019, work will begin on a new Broad Street bridge over I-71, and stretches of the two north-south feeder streets – Elijah Pierce Avenue and Lester Drive – will be completed between Broad and Long streets. (Phase 3B)
- 2020 will see the start of work on a new ramp onto Fulton Street from I-70 East. This phase will also include a new Front Street bridge featuring decorative walls, sidewalks and a wide, landscaped walkway. When this portion is completed, it will allow Livingston Avenue and Front Street to become two-way streets. (Phase 4R)
- In 2021, work will shift to the western edge of downtown, with two new on-ramps for traffic heading to I-70 West or I-71 South from Mound Street. (Phase 6R)
ODOT’s estimate for the completion of the last of the five phases is the end of 2022. The new schedule means that future phases, like bridges over I-70 at High and Third Streets – with caps to support buildings or green space – are likely at least seven years away.
Burton cautioned that the phasing and overall project schedule for the massive 70/71 split project could still change, as it has many times before.
For more information, see www.dot.state.oh.us.