Orange barrel season: ODOT set to close portion of I-490 for two years

CLEVELAND-- More orange barrels are coming to Cleveland.

The Ohio Department of Transportation is one day away from launching Phase III of the Opportunity Corridor project that will take years to complete.

Starting Wednesday at 7 p.m. Interstate 490 between East 55th Street and Interstate 77 will be closed for two years.

"The biggest change that people are going to see when this reopens is that we're actually going to be taking I-490 and putting it under the existing East 55th Street there," said Amanda McFarland, an ODOT spokesperson.

McFarland said their ultimate goals are to not only improve transportation in the area, but also bring new opportunities to under-served neighborhoods.

"This east side of Cleveland has been under served and under developed for many years so much so that's it's known as the forgotten triangle," McFarland said. "Hopefully, help bring jobs to this area because the people that live in this area don't have a lot of places to work because there's not a lot over there right now."

Although the end goal is to better the community, one driver said it's difficult to see beyond the headache the closure will cause.

"I think it's going to make it difficult for people getting on the freeway and that's going to cause some of them a real hindrance because that might be the only way to go," said driver Charles Sanders.

According to ODOT, the project will cost $150 million to complete.

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