LIMA — It was a very busy year for the Ohio Department of Transportation’s District 1.
Construction crews made significant progress in the reconstruction of Interstate 75 through Allen County, a project featuring three phases of construction and a $150 million price tag.
“The reconstruction of Interstate 75 is not a typical highway construction project,” ODOT District 1 deputy director Kirk Slusher said. “The accomplishment of planning, designing and constructing a project of this scope should not go unheralded.”
Much of the construction is now centered on the southern portion of the interstate, stretching from the Fourth Street exit to the Auglaize County line. The northern section of the interstate from state Route 81 to Fourth Street was completely opened to traffic in the fall, with the interchanges at state Routes 81, 117/309 and Fourth Street now operating with the latest traffic signal technology.
Allen County also boasts the only area in the state where ODOT incorporated an aesthetic theme throughout the interstate structures, namely, the blue “Real American Strength” theme adorning the interchanges and bridges.
This past year also marked the first full year of traffic on the upgraded state Route 117/309 stretching from east of state Route 117 to the Allen County Fairgrounds, featuring a raised-curb median, constructed U-turns and upgraded traffic signals.
These and other projects throughout the district represented $93.9 million of investment by the department, with $60.8 million centered on Interstate 75.
“These dollars represent an investment in keeping our pavements and bridges among the highest rated in the state,” Slusher said. “We will continue to be an example of excellence in government through well planned construction and maintenance practices.”