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Ohio State Highway Patrol, ODOT plead with drivers to slow down in work zones

During 10 hours of enforcement at the I-77 work zone in Akron, nearly 90 citations were written. Many for drivers going at least 20 miles per hour over the limit.
Credit: WTHR/Joe Fenton

AKRON, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) are teaming up to raise work zone safety awareness as well as the dangers in speeding through construction work zones. 

The two departments came together for a joint briefing at ODOT's District 4 office in Akron on Friday. The specific focus was on the work zone in Akron on I-77 just north of Arlington Road to I-277. 

Over a period of several days, approximately 10 hours of aerial enforcement was conducted on the two-mile work zone stretch of I-77 in Coventry Township. During the enforcement period, officers issued nearly 90 citations, most of which were for motorists traveling at least 20 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. 

During the enforcement period, the fastest captured speed by OSHP was 96 miles per hour. Due to the construction, the speed limit has been reduced from 65 mph to 55 mph.

“Ohio’s work zones are a top priority for the Patrol, making sure that everyone has a safe driving and working environment,” said Sgt. Ray Santiago, OSHP Public Information Officer. “Troopers are committed to making work zones safer through focused enforcement and taking dangerous drivers off the road.”

Kenmore Construction is the contractor on the $50 million project that is adding an additional northbound and southbound lane on I-77 in Coventry Township. Currently the contractor is reconstructing the median section of I-77, later this summer, reconstruction and widening work will occur on the southbound side. 

“These enforcement numbers are shocking. Motorists are traveling extremely too fast through our work zones. ODOT workers and contractors are just feet from traffic while trying to improve our roadways,” ODOT District 4 Deputy Director Gery Noirot, P.E., said. “Spring is near and so is warmer weather, which means there will be more drivers and an increased number of work zones. Motorists need to do their part by slowing down and avoiding distractions while driving through work zones.”

The estimated completion of all work on the I-77 project is fall 2024.

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