Winter appears to be far from over as we in Northeast Ohio were brutally reminded this week.
One hopeful sign that perhaps the worst is behind us: the National Weather Service's Winter Weather Advisory expiration was moved up from 8 p.m. Wednesday to 4 p.m. and forecasters call for the snow to taper off by mid-afternoon.
But that doesn't mean the cold is going anywhere. The high temperature for Wednesday is only 27* and was already reached by noon. Factor in the wind chill and some areas could be hit with what feels like -2*, according to the National Weather Service.
Road conditions progressively got better throughout the morning commute Wednesday, but Brent Kovacs with ODOT tells the Ray Horner Morning Show that trucks will continue to treat the roadways overnight into early Thursday morning to prevent any freezing when temperatures continue to drop.
For those who may not have anywhere to go when the cold bites as it has this week, Haven of Rest Ministries reminds all residents that their doors are open. They have enacted "Code Zero" and are accomodating their facility at 175 E. Market Street.
ODOT has released a statement Monday afternoon saying ramp work will begin Tuesday morning, and with it closures throughout the Central Interchange.
Ramp construction had been delayed a week because the contractor tasked with doing so had not gotten the construction signs in place with time enough ahead of the scheduled construction.
Despite the setback, Justin Chesnic with ODOT tells 1590 WAKR that the same contractor has completed the work needed on their end and they are ready to go. Below is the official release from ODOT:
Interstate 76 in the City of Akron
( – until further notice)
The following lane restriction and ramp closures will occur by Tuesday morning, , at
( – until further notice)
Beginning Wednesday, morning, , at ., the ramp from I-76 eastbound to I-77 southbound will be CLOSED through late November for bridge removal. The detour will be I-76/Kenmore Leg westbound to I-277 eastbound to I-77 southbound. This work is part of a $15.6 million project to remove three bridge on I-76/I-77 over Johnston St. The project also includes the relocation of Johnston St. between Spicer St. and Brown St. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by late July 2017.
The Ohio Department of Transportation maintains the state's largest man-made asset--the transportation system. ODOT's mission is to provide the safe and easy movement of people and goods from place to place. As a $2.8 billion per year enterprise, ODOT invests the bulk of its resources in system preservation through maintenance, construction and snow and ice operations.
“The environmental review, consultation, and other actions required by applicable Federal environmental laws for this project are being, or have been, carried-out by ODOT pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327 and a Memorandum of Understanding dated December 11, 2015, and executed by FHWA and ODOT.”
Follow our coverage of the story with the last update from WAKR.net.
ODOT posted on Twitter late Tuesday night that they're postponing their scheduled ramp closures throughout the Central Interchange in Akron. ODOT spokesman Brent Kovacs tells 1590 WAKR that the contractor did not get the detour signs up in time for the work, thus delaying the project that is scheduled to take about 3 months.
Here is our previous story explaining what ramps will be closed when the project resumes.
The orange barrels have been out this summer around Summit County, but your commute might get a little trickier on Tuesday morning with nearly several three-month long ramp closures around the Central Interchange in Akron.
The Ohio Department of Transportation is working on several bridge removal projects over Spicer and Johnston streets that require them to close the ramps from I-77 north to I-76 west, Rt. 8 south to I-76 west and I-76 east to I-77 south.
ODOT District 4 spokesman Justin Chesnic said there two major reasons for the bridge removals including the cost of maintenance and planning for future projects.
"Coming down the line we're going to have a pretty big project there at the Central Interchange where we're actually redoing some ramps, some bridges and certain things there," said Chesnic. "That's going to be around 2020. So in about 3-4 years down the line we're going to be doing that. It's much easier to work around pavement than it is bridges."
While the adjustemnt of teh new commute around the Central Interchange will take some days to get used to, Chesnic says they are prepared. Crews have spent time working to re-stripe the Kenmore Leg and surrounding areas to add an additional lane for drivers who will be moving around the closures.
"We've re-striped the Kenmore Leg to three lanes of traffic in each direction. A lot of those key access points at the northern end and the southern end of the Kenmore Leg have been restriped to two lanes. So, in essence, that should really help traffic flow through there a lot better."
The ramp closures are expected to last around three months (about 110 days).
There are several other closures and lane restrictions that are expected to take place around Summit County this week. "Do The Detour"
ODOT has also updated their "Do The Detour" website to provide the best routes to get around the closures.
Finding your way around closures on the roads can be a hassle, especially during construction season. The Ohio Department of Transportation is hoping to relieve some of the headaches associated with traveling through the orange barrels.
ODOT District 4 has launched the "Do The Detour" website, ahead of the restriping project along the Kenmore Leg that was scheduled for this weekend. That project has since been postponed due to weather.
According to ODOT, the new site will offer the best detour options for drivers, maps included, before they head out on the road.
There are a list of upcoming projects that ODOT is preparing for -- including the more than $100 million project on Main/Broadway and I-76. It's a four-year project that will send drivers to the Kenmore Leg as the detour.
On the web: www.dot.state.oh.us