AKRON, Ohio (WJW) — It’s that time of the year again when those orange flowers – also know as construction barrels – are seen sprouting up all over Northeast Ohio.

The Ohio Department of Transportation kicked off 2022’s construction season with a press conference on Tuesday morning explaining the projects that travelers can expect to see in the months ahead.

ODOT District 4 Deputy Director Gery Noirot and ODOT Capital Programs staff gathered at the LaFollette St. Bridge over I-77 in Akron to break down some of the specific projects in ODOT’s nearly $2 billion investment across the state, including work on over 7,600 miles of pavement and 661 bridges.

Noirot says the projects this year are focused on safety not just for motorists, but for walkers and bikers as well.

He says two large projects in Summit County will be wrapping up soon; the SR 8 pavement replacement ending in late July and the I-76 Wooster Road/State Street project in Barberton sometime this summer.

The I-77 widening project between Arlington and the I-271 interchange will enter into its second season of work and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2024.

Two resurfacing projects will take place – one on I-77 between Vernon Odom and Ridgewood/Miller Road in Akron and one on I-480 between the Cuyahoga County and Portage County lines – expected to be done Fall 2022.

Noirot ended with a call to all motorists to help keep the roadways safe, saying last year there were nearly 5,000 work zone crashes, including 30 fatalities.

“I am asking that motorists avoid distractions and move over when they see roadside workers,” he said. “The message I want to deliver here is more of a challenge. I am asking everyone who travels on our roadways to do better.”