CLEVELAND — One of the busiest highway on-ramps in downtown Cleveland will close this week, forcing many drivers to find other ways to get out of the city.
During evening rush hour, vehicles are usually bumper to bumper, many trying to get out of downtown to the Ontario Street on-ramp for I-90 westbound.
“Likely, it will remain congested; it has always been congested, and that’s one of the reasons we’re making these improvements at this intersection,” said ODOT spokeswoman Jocelynn Clemings.
Beginning overnight next Thursday, the ramp will be closed for one year.
Right now, it’s directly in the path of the new span of the Innerbelt Bridge now under construction.
The ramp is being re-built to guide cars onto the new structure.
“When that ramp reopens next year, it will actually have two lanes onto 90 westbound, which will be really helpful for motorists,” Clemings said.
In the meantime, drivers on Ontario will have to find alternate ways to get out of downtown.
Some people attending the Indians game Friday night wondered how the ramp closure might impact their trips home in the future.
“We’ll just have to find another route; but I think it’s gonna be a problem with getting through the city,” said motorist Chris Kirkpatrick.
“I think it’s gonna create huge congestion, and I know I did get an email from the Indians today, giving us an alternate route out of town,” said motorist Joyce Barrett
“That entire intersection is very busy, but from that point, there are some really great options to get you back onto 90 west,” Clemings said.
Alternate routes would be to continue on Ontario to Broadway, then take 490 west to 90 west.
Another route is to take Orange Avenue to I-77 south, then to 490 west to 90.
Also, the East 14th Street ramp, which has been closed for about a year, will reopen.
“We’re only here once in a while. I feel worse for the people that commute in here and have to use that bridge every day for work, or going home from work; they’re gonna be in worse shape than we are, so I feel for them,” said motorist Ed Goodman.
ODOT urges drivers to look into alternate routes now, before the ramp closes. The new bridge is on schedule to be completed in the fall or winter of next year.
*For additional information on the closing of the Ontario ramp, click HERE.