By MARK TODD - email@example.com
Folks in Conneaut heading to Mentor or Cleveland to do holiday shopping will need to find an alternate route to reach Interstate 90 this morning and afternoon.
The westbound entrance ramp to I-90 off Route 7 will be closed most of today as the two-year overhaul of the freeway enters a new phase, according to a notice from the Ohio Department of Transportation. The closure is needed to help construction crews channel westbound traffic onto the new lanes built this spring and summer, ODOT officials said.
The ramp is scheduled to reopen no later than 5 p.m. today. On Friday, the westbound exit ramp to reach Route 7 was shut down, requiring motorists bound for Conneaut to exit at Route 6N in West Springfield, Pa.
Beginning late this afternoon, westbound traffic on I-90 will now travel atop the brand-new road surface. Emphasis now shifts to the eastbound lanes, which will be built and completed by late fall 2013. Several bridges above and below the freeway are included in the facelift.
The entire project, which stretches from Conneaut Creek to the Pennsylvania line, is estimated to cost $44.6 million.
Notice of today’s ramp closure was received by City Hall in advance of the action, believed to be the first project update since city administrators lodged a complaint with the ODOT.
Last month, City Council complained of a lack of advance notice regarding road and ramp closures related to the massive project. In response, City Manager Tim Eggleston and Law Director David Schroeder sent a letter to ODOT’s District 4 “requesting they treat us like human beings.” The agency answered with a promise to upgrade its communication.