INDEPENDENCE, Ohio-- Police along Interstate 77 in Cuyahoga County have been preparing special plans to handle big accidents or protester interference on the highway during the Republican National Convention, the FOX 8 I-Team learned on Wednesday.
The Ohio Department of Transportation said 90,000 to 100,000 drivers use I-77 north of I-480 on a typical day. Certainly, that number could rise during convention week with delegates staying at hotels along that highway, including more than a dozen hotels in Independence alone.
Police in departments along the highway have developed an early warning system for each other, so police can try to become aware of any potential disturbances early. This includes watching for people walking along the highway or even along train tracks that go over the highway.
Police have also discussed detours in case of serious accidents on I-77. As the I-Team revealed earlier, police will also use portable cameras they can move around and control from dispatch rooms.
"We can use it to monitor traffic, we can use it to monitor crowds, we can use it to plan detours around potential problem places," Independence Police Chief Michael Kilbane said.
Newburgh Heights Chief John Majoy said he hopes the tens of thousands of regular I-77 drivers will stay alert. He also hopes anyone noticing anything out of place will call police.
ODOT also told us crews will be set to scramble to clean up a highway spill or make an emergency repair, if needed, on I-77.