Ontario ramp closed in downtown Cleveland; extra police on hand for Indians game Thursday night

CLEVELAND - Thursday night, Cleveland police plan to add an extra 25 or so officers to help with traffic flow during rush hour and expected back-ups because of the Cleveland Indians game.

Wednesday at 11 p.m. the Ontario ramp to Interstate 90 west from downtown Cleveland closed.

According to the Ohio Department of Transportation, the closure will last an entire year.

ODOT spokesperson Jocelynn Clemings explained the ramp is closing so that crews can build the new Innerbelt Bridge in the path of this existing ramp.

Clemings said the final product will improve driving on the interstate.

"Quite typically during the evening rush, you'll notice that folks are backed up almost to the Terminal Tower. So, by the time this ramp reopens next year, there will be two lanes, which will guide you onto the new Innerbelt Bridge," Clemings said.

As far as extra driving time, ODOT said drivers may notice a few extra minutes added to their commute.

Overnight Wednesday though, the ramp from East 14th Street to I-90 West reopened.

ODOT rescheduled these recent traffic changes downtown because of rain in the forecast Thursday. Initially crews were going to close the Ontario ramp overnight Thursday instead of Wednesday.

Alternative routes to get back to Interstate 90 include using the new East 14th Street Ramp, East 9th Street Ramp, or you can continue straight through the intersection and use Broadway or Orange Avenues to eventually get back on I-90 via 77 south to 490 west.

Also, starting Thursday night outbound Ontario Street was reduced to two lanes between Huron and the I-77 south onramp.

The changes to the interstate ramps and traffic lanes are part of the Interstate Bridge Project. All the work is expected to wrap up in the fall or winter of next year.

Besides the focus on this area downtown, ODOT is working on other parts of the project including the Main Bridge in Tremont and also the Abbey Avenue Bridge.

You can check out www.Innerbelt.org for more information on traffic alerts.

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