I-80 construction project nearly on schedule with about a year to go

GIRARD, Ohio (WYTV) – Construction on Interstate 80 around Youngstown is now three-quarters of the way done — by this time next year, it should be close to complete.

Next to the I-80 bridge in Girard Monday afternoon, carpenters were suspended atop of what will be additional abutments for the bridge spanning the Mahoning River. The metal molds will be covered in concrete, on top of which the bridge deck will go. What was a four lane bridge will become six.

“We’re talking about bridge replacements, we’re talking about pavement replacements from the ground up. We’re adding an extra lane, adding capacity, so there’s a lot of things going on with the I-80 project,” said Brent Kovacs, with the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Currently, crews are working to expand the westbound lanes of I-80. The ground has been dug up to make way for new road.

West from the Salt Springs Road overpass, you can see how the old road has been removed. In its place will go three new lanes — it’ll be six across.

When the I-80 construction project was announced in the spring of 2015, it was supposed to take four years with a completion date of July 2018. It’s close to being on schedule.

“Right now our completion date is in September of 2018 and barring anything unforeseen, we’re looking forward to it being done,” Kovacs said.

Barry Adkins, fuel department manager at Truck World in Hubbard, said the construction hasn’t affected them at all. He said truckers aren’t really talking about it much either.

“I’m sure there’s construction going on everywhere in the country. It’s just something they get used to.”

The view from the road — from Austintown to Girard — shows a tight two-lane stretch with Jersey walls on the left and and semis on the right. It’ll be like that for at least another 13 months.

“The two biggest contributing factors that we see to crashes on construction zones are following too close and excessive speed,” Kovacs said.

His advice? Back off and slow down.