ODOT responds to NewsChannel5 questions about morning traffic mess on I-77 north

CLEVELAND - If you were driving on I-77 northbound Monday morning, you know new traffic patterns created a bumper-to-bumper crawl from I-480 up to I-90 until nearly 9 a.m.

NewsChannel5 traffic reporter Alicia Roberts spent the morning helping drivers get through the mess caused primarily by the single lane ramp from I-77 north to I-90 east.

Roberts reached out to the Ohio Department of Transportation for some answers about the morning traffic mayhem and Jocelynn Clemings, ODOT's public information officer for the Innerbelt Bridge project, responded.

Here are Alicia's questions, and ODOT's answers:

     1. Why the shift to just one lane from I-77 north to I-90 east?

       "We are removing the eastbound ‘alternate route plan' as we complete this year's downtown I-90 bridge work. We are returning I-77 north and I-90 east to     their pre-construction lane configuration."

       2. The merge caused extensive delays for drivers along I-77 north. What alternates/remedies can you offer?

       "Part of today's (Monday) delays could have been caused by drivers unfamiliar with the new lane markings and assignments—the rain also probably contributed."

       "Another aspect is that the change to restore the third lane to I-90 east will not be complete until the end of next weekend. Once that change is complete some of these drivers may find it helpful to return to staying on I-90 east, instead of using the same alternate route on I-490 east and I-77 north."

      3. How long will Monday's traffic pattern stay in place?

       "I-77 north will continue to have a single lane ramp onto I-90 east until the Main viaduct is moved onto the new bridge. (This happens when the project is nearly complete and all traffic is on the first new bridge.)"

       "Over the next few weeks, we'll be working to return I-90 east to three lanes and I-90 motorists will again have access to both E. 22nd Street and Carnegie Avenue. Access from SR 176 (the Jennings Freeway) to I71 north and I-90 east also will be restored. All of these changes are expected to be in place by December 1."

Join Alicia Roberts all week on NewsChannel5's Good Morning Cleveland, newsnet5.com, and on Twitter @AliciaTraffic to navigate your morning commute through the I-77 north/I-90 east construction. All the changing traffic patterns for the next few weeks can be found at ODOT's Innerbelt Bridge webpage.

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