Projects in Allen County. (photo submitted)
Projects in Allen County. (photo submitted)

BOWLING GREEN — The Ohio Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that it expects to invest a record $2.5 billion into more than 1,000 projects during this year’s construction season to improve transportation and make Ohio’s roads safer across the state.

“There is no better place to be than right here in Ohio, and these new projects will help us keep our infrastructure in a good state of repair,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “Everyone in our state benefits from safe roads, and I am looking forward to seeing the end results of this year’s roadway improvement projects.”

This year’s statewide construction program includes 31 new projects that are considered “major” with a value above $10 million. There are 190 safety projects aimed directly at reducing serious or deadly crashes. More than 5,700 miles of pavement will be improved, and 823 bridges will be repaired or replaced.

“These investments are made possible by hard-working Ohioans who use these roads and bridges every day to get to work, school, medical appointments, and family vacations. It is our duty to ensure the resources entrusted to us are used wisely,” said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks.

This construction season isn’t all about building new roads. About 95 cents of every dollar is being invested back into preserving existing roads and bridges.

In northwest Ohio, three projects were highlighted at kickoff events held today in Findlay and Port Clinton.

Chris Hughes, ODOT District 1 deputy director, said construction of two bridges in Hancock County to carry traffic over State Route 15 and eliminate the at-grade intersections at County Road 180 and County Road 169 displays the importance of partnership.

“The projects we’re undertaking this year to eliminate two intersections where crashes continue to occur is the best example of state and local officials coming together to address a local issue,” he said.

In Ottawa County, a project deemed “Gateway to the Islands,” an intersection safety improvement project at State Route 2/State Route 53 in Port Clinton will construct a roundabout at the westbound leg of State Route 2/State Route 53, and also a roundabout at State Route 53 and the State Road intersection. The project’s impact on tourism was at the center of the planning and construction schedule of the project.

“We designed this project based on holiday travel, rather than the customary peak travel, to be sure these intersections and this corridor would have the extra capacity to serve the estimated 11 million visitors that come to Lake Erie every year,” said Pat McColley, ODOT District 2 deputy director. In addition, the project will begin after Labor Day to avoid peak summer travel, he said.

Projects in Allen County include:

— State Route 66 full depth reconstruction of one mile of SR 66 from the bridge over Flat Fort Creek on Suthoff Street to the SCX railroad in Delphos. Estimated to begin in March with completion in November. Daily lane closures of SR 66. Project cost: $3.8 million.

— Sidewalk improvements at Franklin Elementary and Jefferson Middle School in Delphos (Safe Routes to School project). Estimated to begin in March with completion in August. Traffic will not be impacted. Project cost: 486,272.

— State Route 115 landslide repair to repair slope failure along SR 115 approximately one mile north of SR 65. Daily lane closures on SR 115. Project cost: $536,951.

— State Route 117 improvements in Westminster, including resurfacing, add sidewalks, lighting ad curb and gutter. Project to begin in April with estimated December completion. Traffic will not be impacted. Project cost: $5.4 million.

— State Route 81 resurfacing project for five miles of SR 81 from Cable road to Jameson Avenue and from North Street to Sugar Street in Lima. Project to begin in May, with estimated completion in August. Daily lane closures on SR 81. Project cost: $962,395.

— Township Road 32 (Purdy Road) bridge replacement over Jennings Creek a half mile south of SR 91. Estimated to begin in July with completion in November. Traffic will be detoured. Project cost: $800,322.

Projects in Putnam County include:

— State Route 115 landslide repair to repair slope failure along SR 115 approximately one mile north of SR 65. Daily lane closures on SR 115. Project cost: $536,951.

— State Route 65 bridge replacement over Bernard Weis Ditch one mile northeast of the Village of Ottawa. Estimated to begin in June with August completion. Traffic will be detoured. Project Cost: $557,540.

— County Road Z & Old US 224 resurfacing of 14 miles from SR 115 to the western corporation limit of Columbus Grove. Resurface six miles of Old US 224 from the eastern corporation limit of Ottawa to County Road 5. Estimated to begin in April with September completion. Daily lane closures on County Road Z and US 224. Project cost: $1.3 million.

— County Road M bridge rehabilitation over Cranberry Creek approximately one mile west of SR 65. Estimated to begin in June with September completion date. Traffic will be detoured. Project cost: 371,181.

Projects in Van Wert County include:

— US 224 replacement of three culverts between Defiance Trail and SR 637. Estimated to begin in April with completion in September. Traffic will be detoured. Project cost: $710,151.

Other notable projects in northwest Ohio:

— The replacement of a bridge on U.S. 127 in Defiance County over the Maumee River. ODOT and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources have partnered to provide a new canoe launch at this bridge to provide public access to this scenic section of the Maumee River.

— Construction of a roundabout at State Route 108 and U.S. 24 in Henry County.

— Resurfacing and safety improvement project on U.S. Route 24/Anthony Wayne Trail, between Monclova Road and Detroit Avenue, Lucas County.

— Replacement of a bridge on Central Avenue (State Route 120) between Reynolds Road and Corey Road, Toledo/Ottawa Hills, over the Ottawa River.

It is important for motorists to pay extra attention when driving through work zones. According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, there were 4,628 work zone-related crashes in Ohio last year, 21 were deadly resulting in 23 deaths, and 85 involved serious injuries. Summit County recorded the most in the state with 814 work zone crashes. June is the top month for work zone crashes (585) with Wednesday being the top day (833). Most occur between 3-5 p.m.

In 2022, there were 133 ODOT crews (workers, vehicles, and equipment) struck while working along Ohio roadways.

“These workers are out there ensuring that your travels are as safe as possible. They just ask for your attention and patience in return,” said Marchbanks.

Ohio’s Move Over law requires drivers to move over a lane for vehicles with flashing lights. If drivers cannot safely move over, they are required to slow down.

See a full list of projects at