The Ohio Department of Transportation will spend close to $90 million over the next three years widening Interstate 71 in the Grove City area.

The Ohio Department of Transportation will spend close to $90 million over the next three years widening Interstate 71 in the Grove City area.

ODOT officially announced its list of 2015 construction projects on March 16 and among those plans is the widening of I-71 between Stringtown Road and state Route 665.

The project calls for adding a new lane in both directions as well as re-decking the I-71 bridge over White Road. When completed, the stretch of I-71 will have three northbound and three southbound lanes.

According to information from ODOT, construction is scheduled to begin this September and be completed by July 2017. The cost is estimated at nearly $37.3 million.

Nancy Burton, public information officer for ODOT District 6, which includes Franklin County, said the widening is being done to ease congestion on 71 and make it safer. In 2014, she said ODOT conducted a traffic survey and determined the average daily traffic count at Stringtown was 90,610 vehicles while the count at Route 665 was about 60,000.

"We do traffic surveys every three years," she said.

Burton said the new deck for the bridge over White Road will make for a better driving surface.

"There are some issues with the (existing) deck," she said.

ODOT intends to maintain two lanes in each direction during construction, according to its 2015 construction map, but there will be additional lane closures during overnight hours.

"There will be lane closures," Burton said. "We will put that (information) out prior to that happening, so people will know about it."

Burton said ODOT expects to put the project out to bid and award a construction contract by July or August.

"Usually, once the bids are open and come in, it takes about a month to get (construction) started," she said.

Stringtown to Route 655 will not be the only stretch of 71 to undergo construction in the near future.

Burton said ODOT also intends to widen 71 from state Route 315 in Columbus to Stringtown, adding an additional lane in each direction and re-decking several bridges along that stretch.

That contract for that project, estimated to cost $50 million, will be awarded later this year, possibly November, Burton said.

"Construction will not start until next year," she said.