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A new welcome center along westbound Interstate 90 in Conneaut will open in a few weeks, according to Ohio Department of Transportation officials.

CONNEAUT — Travelers entering northeast Ohio via Interstate 90 will soon be greeted by a new welcome center/rest area in Conneaut.

The $2.7 million center, which began construction last year, will be unveiled in a few weeks, said Ray Marsch, a spokesman for Ohio Department of Transportation District 4 in Akron.

“The new facility is on track to open this summer,” he said.

Demolition of the old center began nearly a year ago and construction generally proceeded on schedule, Marsch said.

“It was a fluid project,” he said. “Crews had to work through some things.”

The new center, which services westbound traffic, occupies the same site as the predecessor built in the 1980s adjacent to a truck weigh station. The original had “reached the end of its life expectancy,” Marsch said.

Visitors familiar with the old rest area will notice its replacement is much roomer. The interior contains 5,412 square feet, while an adjoining “porch” adds another 1,474 square feet, Marsch said.

“It has a greater capacity and is double the original size,” he said.

The increased elbow room provides ample space for a selection of vending machines, tourist brochures and similar promotional materail..

Greenheart Companies LLC of Boardman constructed the Conneaut center, part of a total $8.2 million package that includes two new centers in Portage County. Upgrading Ohio’s interstate rest areas is a priority of Gov. Mike DeWine, Marsch said.

ODOT is confident motorists will be impressed by the new center. “We’re really excited that travelers will be able to enjoy a new rest area experience,” Marsch said.

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