Traffic Flow Changes Coming with Mentor Bridge Project

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MENTOR, Ohio -- Replacing a busy bridge in Mentor could create a traffic nightmare.

An Ohio Department of Transportation sign on Heisley Road says it all: as of Wednesday, two southbound lanes of the Heisley Road bridge in Mentor will be shut down as construction begins to replace the bridge deck.

Some people who use the bridge said the construction project will make traffic even worse.

"I think it's going to be an inconvenience, because for me I have cancer and I travel that bridge every Monday going to chemo," said concerned motorist, Henry Harris.

Throughout the entire Heisley Bridge construction project, two lanes of northbound traffic will remain open to relieve congestion.

There will be a detour to help with the congestion on the southbound side.

Southbound Heisley Road traffic will take State Route 2 westbound to State Route 615. Then they will turn around and take State Route 2 eastbound to access southbound Heisley Road.

ODOT officials said they are trying to maintain traffic in the best way to keep it flowing.

"We just finished state Route 615 interchange, so there are two lanes to exit on 615 so there will be two lanes to enter eastbound. There is a lot more holding space for cars to wait, and lights are all timed together, so it will be a very smooth detour route," said ODOT spokesperson Amanda Lee.

However, some motorists said the detour will only create more delays.

"(State Route) 615 will be all right, but it's still time-consuming because you still have to get up early. You figure everybody is going to know about (State Route) 615, and a whole lot of people are going to be taking that way, and there will be a lot of traffic on that road too," said Henry Harris, of Lake County.

ODOT suggests that motorists know their routes to avoid any delays and to be patient since they are replacing a bridge that is 52 years old.

In addition to the bridge lane closures, there will be daily lane closures on State Route 2 beneath the bridge from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The project is expected to take nine months to complete.