Beginning early next week, the two dangerous, looping ramps from Interstate 270 to U.S. Route 23 will close for good.
Instead, traffic moving east on I-270 and heading north on Route 23 will follow a ramp that leads straight to Route 23. Southbound traffic will veer to a right lane, and northbound traffic will go straight and stop at a new permanent traffic signal.
Likewise, motorists headed west on I-270 will follow a straight ramp to High Street. Those headed north will veer right, and those headed south will continue straight to a new permanent traffic signal on Route 23.
The westbound loop is expected to close Sunday night, July 6, with the eastbound ramp to close Monday night, July 7.
Traffic experts from the Ohio Department of Transportation are touting the changes as big steps forward in improving safety at the I-270/Route 23 interchange by eliminating some of the weaving and crossover that have caused accidents in the past.
Currently, one lane is open for Route 23 south and two for Route 23 north. The completed project will feature three northbound and two southbound lanes.
Meanwhile, construction on the two-lane trench north of I-270 continues, and ODOT has posted on its website an animated video showing what it will be like to drive through the trench, which will be the first in Ohio.
The two middle, northbound lanes will be 25 feet below ground level, allowing northbound traffic to avoid intersections at Campus View Boulevard and Flint Road. The trench will cover more than three-fourths of a mile, from I-270 to just south of Northwoods Boulevard. Most of the trench is open, except at the cross streets, which pass over the express lanes.
A single right lane will be open for local traffic.
"The video animation is in response to dozens of inquiries from the motoring public," said Ferzan Ahmed, ODOT District 6 deputy director.
To view the animation, go to the project site at 270-23.com.
The I-270/Route 23 interchange project, known as the North Side Fix, includes improvements to the exit ramps, wide trenched lanes and a new bridge over the interstate. It will cost about $75 million and is expected to be completed by late 2016.