CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Attention all drivers: a major construction project along I-77 has begun, meaning a large chunk of the interstate will be closed this weekend.
A spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Transportation announced Thursday that the temporary closure is part of Phase 1 of the Bridge Deck Replacement Project over the Cuyahoga River.
All lanes along I-77 North and I-77 South between Grant Ave in Cleveland and I-480 were closed Friday night and were to remain closed until Monday at 6 a.m.
Traffic will be detoured along SR 176 and I-490. Drivers who need access between I-490 and state Route 21 should use I-490 westbound to W. 7th Street to I-490 eastbound to I-77 southbound, according to ODOT.
ODOT also said that the I-480 westbound ramp to 77 North and the 77 southbound ramp to I-480 East will be reduced to one lane and stay that way until November.
Winter-weary drivers in Northeast Ohio Thursday night gave this latest construction project the cold shoulder.
“It’s never-ending,” said Julie Mintz. "And it is exacerbated by the winter time, makes it even harder. You see orange barrels and snow and dirt; it's awful.”
Drivers said it’s already challenging enough getting around town because of all the other major construction projects under way including the Innerbelt Bridge construction.
“As someone who worked downtown, I think it’s absolutely horrific that they keep closing these roads until they finish some of the construction,” said Shane Siniscalchi.
But ODOT said the bridge deck replacement work and drainage repair is absolutely necessary and will continue past this weekend with some lane restrictions, altered traffic patterns and reduced speeds.
ODOT said, “The project is expected to last two construction seasons and be complete in late 2016. There will be minor operations continuing into 2017.”