CLEVELAND- Orange barrel season is a challenge for motorists trying to navigate the streets of downtown Cleveland and it’s about to get worse.
The Ohio Department of Transportation is about to begin eight new road resurfacing projects over the next few days. (More details on the projects and traffic changes here.)
Motorists must continue to manage the biggest road block posed by the redesign of Public Square, which resulted in the closing of Ontario and Superior Avenue as through streets.
Just as most travelers were finding new routes to their downtown destinations, ODOT and the city of Cleveland partnered to resurface West 3rd Street between Superior and Lakeside avenues. That reduced a valuable alternate route from four lanes down to two, one in each direction until mid-August, according to a spokesperson from the Mayor’s Office.
Ronda Lynn told Fox 8’s Lorrie Taylor she left her Cleveland home early to ensure she got a friend to a downtown appointment on time.
“I guess you just got to maneuver your way around,” Lynn said.
“How difficult was that?" asked Taylor.
“It was kind of difficult, but if you know Cleveland you know your way around, I know my way around,” she insisted.
One of ODOT’s newest projects will begin July 3 along Prospect Avenue. A department spokesperson said the roadway will be reduced to one lane in each direction between Ontario and East 22nd Street. Parking won’t be allowed until the project is completed in October of this year.
Another big project is the scheduled resurfacing of Community College Avenue between East 22nd and East 40th streets. ODOT will keep one lane open in each direction until work is finished in October.
Those are just two of the newest projects due to begin within days. Others include West Boulevard, which will be closed to northbound traffic between West 105th and Lorain Avenue through mid-August. Woodland Avenue will be taken down to one lane in each direction between East 89th and East 116th Street through May 2016. East Boulevard will be closed to northbound traffic between Superior Avenue and St. Clair Avenue through the middle of August, while Harvard Avenue will be closed to eastbound traffic between East 55th and East 93rd streets through October.
There will be a lot of orange going up during the summer of 2015; most of it should be clearing just as Mother Nature goes to work painting the town with her own fall colors.
“It’s progress, definitely, definitely, in two years we’ll be happy that they did it,” Lynn said.