The Ohio Turnpike kicks off its 2021 construction season with a $205 million capital improvement program that includes projects throughout northern Ohio. The focus will be on improving safety and making progress on the modernized Toll Collection System that is scheduled to go live with Open Road Tolling in the spring of 2023.
"We'll be making significant progress this year constructing much of the infrastructure necessary to modernize our toll collection system," said Ferzan M. Ahmed, executive director. "Customers have been asking for a modern toll road and we're excited that our plan is now under way. In 2023, our new Open Road Tolling system will debut with all gates removed for our E-ZPass customers."
Identified infrastructure improvements include pavement replacement and resurfacing, bridge rehabilitation and construction of a new toll plaza in Swanton, Ohio. The Toll Plaza at Exit 49 will be one of four new or reconstructed toll plazas that will serve as the linchpin of the new system.
This past fall, the Ohio Turnpike started a major pavement replacement project from the Indiana State line to MP 7.26 (Superior Township in Williams County). As this project moves forward, it may cause periodic disruption to normal traffic operating conditions.
In 2021 and 2022, all work will take place east of the Westgate Toll Plaza (east of SR 49). The turnpike will be reduced to one lane in each direction during the entire construction season both years. In 2023, pavement will be replaced from the Indiana line through the new toll plaza at Milepost 4. Once again, the turnpike will be reduced to one lane in each direction.
Ohio Turnpike bridges also will see major work this year, with almost $22 million (comprising 10.6 percent of the 2021 capital budget) in various bridge repair, removal, repainting and deck widening and replacement projects.
2021 Major Construction Projects from West to East
Williams County, Pavement Replacement & Resurfacing of Mainline plus New Toll Plaza: Full-depth excavation and pavement replacement will occur in the westbound lanes from MP 2.7 to MP 7.2 This project will reduce travel in both directions to one lane only in a bi-directional work zone. Construction on the eastbound side will take place in 2022.
The Beaver Excavating Company was awarded a $67.6 million contract to complete this three-part project, which includes other aspects of the new Toll Collection System, specifically, the construction of a new Open Road Tolling lane and in 2022, construction of new ramps that will connect to a new toll plaza at MP 4. This new toll plaza will become the new Westgate Toll Plaza and the current Westgate Toll Plaza is currently scheduled for demolition in the summer of 2023.
Fulton & Lucas Counties, Pavement Replacement, New Ramps & Construction of New Toll Plaza: Full-depth excavation and pavement replacement will take place in the eastbound direction in 2021 from MP 46.5 to MP 51.4. The pavement was replaced in this section on the westbound side last year. The installation of new entry/exit ramps also will take place in both directions.
This construction will support access to and from Toll Plaza 49, which is currently being constructed adjacent to the mainline in Swanton. TP 49 is the first of four new toll plazas that will be constructed in support of the modernized Toll Collection System that will go live in 2023. The Swanton Toll Plaza will serve as a test site for the new system when the technical equipment contractor, Conduent, installs new toll collection equipment in July/August at the site and in the toll lanes.
The Kokosing Construction Company was awarded a $30.7 million contract to replace the pavement, install the ramps and build the new toll plaza at MP 49.
Sandusky County, Overhead Bridge Deck Removal and Rehabilitation:
- Ohio Turnpike Ramp over SR 53 — Exit 91 (MP 92.0)
- Fangboner Road — Township Road 166 (MP 91.1)
- Ohio Turnpike Ramp over the Ohio Turnpike — Exit 91 (MP 91.6)
The work began April 6, 2021, and involves the removal of the Ohio Turnpike Ramp Bridge over State Route 53; replacing that ramp bridge and the SR 53 interchange with a roundabout; the deck replacement of the Ohio Turnpike Ramp over the Ohio Turnpike mainline at Exit 91; and the deck replacement of the Fangboner Road bridge over the Ohio Turnpike mainline at Milepost 91.1 in Sandusky County.
Traffic will be maintained on all roads, bridges and the Ohio Turnpike Mainline. A contract in the amount of $4.8 million for this work was awarded to Kokosing Construction Inc. Estimated completion date: Oct. 31, 2021.
Erie County, Pavement Repairs and Resurfacing: Work is under way on the mainline for pavement repairs and resurfacing from MP 112.45 to MP 118.80 in Oxford and Milan townships.
Two lanes will be maintained during the day and a single lane in each direction will be maintained at night. The value of the contract is $11.7 million and was awarded to Gerken Paving Inc. Estimated completion date: Oct. 31, 2021.
Lorain County, Ohio Turnpike Bridge Painting:
- Ohio Turnpike bridge over the Black River (MP 145.9)
- Ohio Turnpike bridge over the Norfolk Southern Railroad (MP 147.9)
- Ohio Turnpike Bridge over Cleveland Street (US 20/SR 113) at (MP 148.0)
Beginning in May 2021 through approximately July 2021 mainline bridges will have their structural steel sandblasted and repainted. Single right lane closures will be in place in the eastbound and westbound directions at various times to store equipment while work occurs under the bridge. ABPN Inc. of Campbell, Ohio, was awarded a $2.86 million contract to paint these three bridges.
Estimated completion date: July 31, 2021.
Trumbull County, Pavement Replacement, New Ramps & Construction of New Toll Plaza: Full-depth excavation and pavement replacement will occur in the westbound outside shoulder and right and left lanes from MP 212.8 to MP 208.2. Construction on the eastbound side will take place in 2022.
The Shelly Company was awarded a $45.7 million contract to complete this two-part/two-year project, which includes other aspects of the new Toll Collection System, specifically, the construction of a new Open Road Tolling lane and construction of new ramps that will connect to a new toll plaza at MP 211.
Mahoning County Mainline Bridge Deck Replacement and Rehabilitation: Westbound and Eastbound over Turner Road — County Road 103 (MP 222.7) Westbound and Eastbound over Kirk Road — County Road 146 (MP 222.8)
The bridge decks will be replaced, rehabilitated and widened on both mainline bridges. The work began in March 2021 and is scheduled to be completed by July 30, 2022. The Ruhlin Company will complete the work with a contract award amount of $9.3 million.
Mahoning County, Pavement Replacement and Eventual Modernized Westgate Plaza: Full-depth excavation and pavement replacement will occur on the eastbound side from MP 235.9-to MP 241.26. Construction on the westbound side will take place in 2022.
Shelly & Sands Inc. was awarded a $39.9 million contract to complete this three-year project, which includes other aspects of the new Toll Collection System, specifically, the construction of a new Open Road Tolling lane and the construction of new ramps that will connect to the modernized toll plaza at MP 239 (Eastgate). The modernized Eastgate Toll Plaza will process tolls on the westbound side only when the new Toll Collection System goes live in the spring of 2023.
A substantial portion of all projects is expected to be completed by early November.
For more information, visit ohioturnpike.org.
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