Construction should begin Monday on a new ramp for southbound U.S. 23 traffic through the I-475/U.S. 23 junction in Sylvania Township, but state officials say significant affects on motorists shouldn’t occur until next year.
Crews from Fremont’s Mosser Construction will kick off the $14,318,461 project by rebuilding the southbound U.S. 23 shoulder through the interchange. That work will require closing the southbound right lane in the area at night through July, Dennis Charvat, ODOT’s district construction engineer in Bowling Green, said Wednesday.
Once the shoulder is rebuilt, U.S. 23’s two southbound lanes will be shifted over to the right lane and shoulder so the left lane can be closed and used for construction access.
About 300,000 cubic yards of fill will be needed for the new ramp, enough to build it up to at least the same height as the flyover ramp from southbound U.S. 23 to eastbound I-475.
Mr. Charvat and Theresa Pollick, ODOT’s district spokesman, said as many as 40 trucks per hour will deliver the fill, so motorists should be alert to the extra truck traffic on the freeway.
Blossman Road will be closed for about 60 days during the fall while a water line is moved to accommodate the construction.
But except for narrow lanes and possibly a reduced speed limit, U.S. 23 traffic will have no long-term orange-barrel issues until about a year from now, Mr. Charvat said.
That’s when officials expect one lane to open on the new ramp for southbound U.S. 23’s through traffic.
The southbound lanes will then close so they and the ramp from westbound I-475 to southbound I-475/U.S. 23 can be reconfigured for the new traffic pattern, which sets up a separate lane for the Central Avenue exit so drivers approaching from westbound I-475 don’t have to cross two lanes of southbound U.S. 23 to get to Central Avenue.
During that phase, Mr. Charvat said, traffic coming south on U.S. 23 won’t have access to the Central exit.
Drivers will have to go east on I-475 to the Corey Road interchange, then return on westbound I-475 if they want to use the Central ramp, he said.
Some, of course, may opt to turn right onto southbound Corey Road and take it down to Central Avenue, especially if they’re headed to Reynolds Road or other points east of I-475/U.S. 23 on Central Avenue.
Northbound traffic will not be affected, and the I-475/U.S. 23 junction project is to be completed by the end of the 2015 construction season — although by that time, work is likely to have begun on rebuilding the Central Avenue interchange, a separate state project expected to cost $40 million to $50 million.
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