By LOU WILIN

STAFF WRITER

This weekend, road work crews will begin the next phase of construction of the Interstate 75 bridge over the Blanchard River. Concrete for the northbound bridge structure will be poured.

Northbound traffic now is traveling on lanes for the southbound bridge structure, said Rob White, Ohio Department of Transportation project manager for the I-75 reconstruction and widening in Findlay.

The cost of the entire reconstruction and widening of I-75 through Findlay will be $114 million. It is expected to be completed by late 2020.

“We are now at $70 million-plus into that, so we’re past the halfway point as far as money spent on the project,” Chris Hughes, acting district deputy director, said Thursday.

Here’s what construction crews are expected to do in the coming months:

• Opening a third lane in each direction on I-75 north of U.S. 224 by this summer.

• Work on two roundabouts will continue and likely will not be completed until spring 2020. Until that time, Lima Avenue will be closed to through traffic.

State transportation officials would really like to finish the roundabouts this year, but Mother Nature has not been cooperative.

“Probably since Oct. 15 of last year we have seen the worst late fall/early spring weather that we’ve really experienced here in the last decade. It’s really been statewide,” Hughes said. “It’s put us behind on a lot of construction projects.”

• The U.S. 68 bridge over Lima Avenue will be under construction by June. It will be finished by late fall or spring 2020.

Wilin: 419-427-8413 Send an E-mail to Lou Wilin

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