Work Zone Mobility and Safety Program
Photo collage: temporary lane closure, road marking installation, cone with mounted warning light, and drum separated work zones.
Office of Operations 21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Text from 'Ohio’s Experience with a Full Closure Reconstruction' PowerPoint Presentation

Slide 1

Purpose of Work Shop

Share Ohio’s experience with a full closure reconstruction: the rationale, challenges, implementation and benefit

Slide 2


Statewide interstate reconstruction effort underway in Ohio to rebuild aging, heavily traveled highways and make them safer for 21st Century traffic.

ODOT is looking for creative ways to repair these roads while minimizing the negative impact to our customers

Slide 3

Interstate 670

When originally built during the ’60s, the 1.7 mile stretch of urban highway was considered state of the art.

However traffic long outgrew the original design making it difficult to navigate and a high-accident location

Slide 4

A map of problem areas near the Spring-Sandusky Interchange on Interstate 670 million to rebuild and redesign the downtown Columbus innerbelt and complete the missing link in Ohio’s interstate system.

Slide 5

Project History

I-670 segment one of 15 projects worth $225 million to rebuild and redesign the downtown Columbus innerbelt and complete the missing link in Ohio's interstate system.

Slide 6

More History …

  • The work stalled for decades due to environmental regulations, lawsuits and lack of funding.
  • Work began on the projects during the early ’90s using operating-cost savings from ODOT. Today only two projects remain.

Slide 7


When the work is completed in the fall, motorists will be able to travel directly from the west to east side of Columbus on a newer, safer, wider highway.

Slide 8

Why Full Closure?

  • Given the long history of the project, ODOT and Columbus eager to complete remaining projects quickly
  • ODOT could cut construction schedule by more than half using full closure vs. part-time width

Slide 9

Project Scope

  • Reconstructing and building new 1.7 miles of urban freeway including 21 bridges and 10 ramps
  • Cost: $50 million
  • Highway tightly bordered by historic neighborhoods, convention center and emerging business and arena districts

Slide 10

Existing Condition

  • Two narrow lanes in each direction with little shoulder area
  • Geometric deficiencies: sharp curves, short merge areas and ramps spaced too close
  • Disrepair: crumbling concrete on bridges, medians and shoulders, rough road surface

Slide 11

A photo of crumbling concrete on the median of an Ohio highway

Slide 12

A photo of disrepair on the shoulder of an Ohio highway

Slide 13

A photo showing the rough road surface and crumbling concrete on Ohio's highways

Slide 14

A photo showing a very short and narrow merge area used to exit the highway

Slide 15

Why Full Closure on I-670

  • Cut Construction from 4 years to 18 months
  • Reduce the potential for accidents
  • Worker Safety (difference in elevation)
  • Reduce Driver Confusion
  • Better Quality and Reduced Cost
  • Experience with Full Closure (SR 315)

Slide 16

An Interstate 670 map identifying areas of reconstruction surrounding Downtown Columbus including: detour, work zone, closed and new constructions areas

Slide 17


To pursue a full-closure approach, ODOT had to gather the facts and "build the case," then present the information to key decision makers for support.

Slide 18


  • Traffic - where will the traffic go? Can the system support it?
  • User Delay Costs - closing vs. maintaining traffic
  • Life-cycle costs

Slide 19

A map detailing how traffic patterns will be altered during the reconstruction process. The map highlights areas of major increase, increase, decrease, major decrease, I-670 Work Zone and I-670 Closure.

Slide 20

Building Support

Once we gathered the data, we had to "sell" the idea to key decision-makers.

  • Mayor and Local Public Officials
  • ODOT Executive Leadership
  • Public

Support was relatively easy to come by given the clear benefits.

Slide 21


Enacting the closure was easy.

  • One week of prep for signs
  • One day to close (weekend)
  • Two weeks of traffic monitoring (Field, TMC and LEOs)

Slide 22

Public Outreach

The hardest part of the full closure is the outreach needed to prepare the public.

This effort began about six months in advance and continued at a steady pace leading up to and after the closure. It also involved the public relations AND construction staff.

Slide 23

Key Audience

  • Motorists
  • Businesses
  • Residents
  • Public Officials/Opinion Leaders
  • Emergency Responders
  • Schools
  • Media

Slide 24

Type of Communication

  • Fact Sheets
  • Custom Flyers for nearby businesses
  • Web site (
  • Group and One-on-One Presentations
  • Media (pitched various news angles)
  • Government Channel
  • E-mail Updates - progress reports and traffic info

Slide 25

A screen capture of the Interstate 670 Project Information web site used to inform audiences of the reconstruction efforts with maps detailing work zone areas.

Slide 26

Key Messages

  • Benefits of work (new, safer, wider highway, direct connection, completes interstate, design enhancements)
  • Efforts to minimize construction delays (4 yrs to 18 mos, incentives/disincentives)
  • Alternate Routes and Commuting Strategies

Slide 27

Construction Progress

Work is currently 2/3 complete and on-time thanks to:

  • $20,000 per day Liquidated Savings
  • High-community profile
  • Contractor has unrestricted access to work site

Slide 28

A photo of reconstruction efforts underway

Slide 29

A photo of reconstruction under a highway overpass

Slide 30

A photo of workers securing piping

Slide 31

A photo of workers bringing Interstate 670 to full closure

Slide 32

Would you use the full closure again?

Yes! ODOT’s experience has been positive and we would use a full closure again under the right conditions.

Slide 33

Right Conditions

  • Small section of roadway
  • Tight physical constraints
  • Variety of good alternate routes
  • Clear public benefit
  • "Building the case" and communicating the benefits is key!

Slide 34

Future Contracting Innovation

Increasing public demand for less work zone congestion and the success of innovative projects have given ODOT the courage to try new techniques.

  • Innovative Contracting Policy
  • Fast Track Bridge Construction

Slide 35


Office of Operations