July 1, 2016

Partly cloudy

I-71 work not to cost Brunswick

BRUNSWICK — A public hearing will be held Wednesday evening on a proposal to reduce congestion on the southbound exit ramp from Interstate 71 to Center Road at no cost to the city.

Planned improvements include widening, extending and restriping the southbound exit ramp to give motorists more time to merge onto Center Road (state Route 303).

The proposal won the enthusiastic support of City Council last month.

“The end result is this is going to alleviate a major problem,” said Councilman Brian Ousley, at large, following the unanimous vote at the Sept. 9 meeting.

At that meeting, Allen C. Biehl, deputy director of the Ohio Department of Transportation’s District 3, said the $3.5 million project won’t cost the city any money because federal grants provide 80 percent of the funding and ODOT picks up the remainder of the bill.

Biehl said the project is part of ODOT’s “ramp clear” program, established last year and designed to ease congested ramps that back up onto throughways during heavy rush-hour traffic.

The Brunswick interchange is a high priority because congestion there caused by commuters returning home during rush hour is the worst of all exits in the eight counties in District 3, Biehl said.

The hearing will begin at 6 p.m., in City Council chambers at the municipal complex, 4095 Center Road.

ODOT officials said the meeting will be conducted in an “open-house style” format, without a formal presentation.

Residents will have an opportunity to meet the project team, view exhibits and express any comments or concerns they may have about the project, officials said.

For those unable to attend the meeting, written concerns or comments concerning the project can be sent to the Ohio Department of Transportation, District 3, 906 Clark Ave., Ashland 44805, or by calling Ryan Carpenter, project manager at (419) 207-7047 or emailing Ryan.Carpenter@dot.state.oh.us.

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