ENGLEWOOD — New curbs have been installed and a first course of asphalt along State Route 48 at the Interstate 70 interchange, but work to the interior lanes will lead to even more traffic congestion to an area that is difficult to travel during morning and evening rush hour.
“The bad news is, when they start taking out the center section of the roadway, which is underneath the bridge, it is going to be not good,” said Eric Smith, city manager. “It’s going to be almost impossible to make turning movements. The road is going to be lowered somewhere between 14 and 18 inches. In fact, you can tell where the road is going to go because the curb on either side shows exactly how low the road is going to go.”
Smith met with Ohio Department of Transportation officials and the contractor to try to figure out a way to soften the traffic congestion as much as possible for this portion of the project, but pointed out that by removing the center lane motorists will have difficulty gaining access to the north entrance of Meijer as well as the new Aldi store.
“Some of that traffic, depending on which direction people want to go, is going to have to be re-routed through Wenger Road,” Smith noted. “Until the middle of August it is going to be congested worse than what it is. After that, however, the light at the end of the overpass is in sight. The work will be largely completed to a point where the traffic pattern will be set, the streets will be re-striped and the traffic signals will work properly. So, we will hold our breath for another three to four weeks maybe. Once we get through that we should be in good shape.”
Work to the interior lanes is scheduled to begin soon but work to the outer lanes is still taking place in order to bring them up to grade. Those lanes still have to be striped and the traffic signals have to be adjusted, but Smith said after July 28 things should start to happen pretty quickly – meaning more traffic woes are at hand for the time being.