AVON, Ohio -- Getting to and from work just got a whole lot better on the west side of Cleveland. A long awaited interchange is now open.
Avon Mayor Jim Smith was all smiles on Thursday as the Nagel Road Interchange officially opened. It was a project 16 years in the making.
"I didn't think I was ever going to get retired, and this thing to be done and one of the reasons most of my staff stuck around is to see this project through its conclusion," said Smith.
The new interchange is expected to ease rush hour traffic, not only for motorists trying to get on I-90, but for those who travel on state route 83 and 611.
"I do know that it will take 35 percent of the traffic off of Route 83 and it will take 15 to 18 percent of the traffic off of Crocker-Bassett exit," Smith said.
The final price tag on this 16 year project comes in at just around $28 million, but more importantly the project was completed ahead of schedule.
"We saved probably about a half-million dollars with expediting the project with some new and different ways of putting the project together," said Smith.
The mayor isn't the only one excited to see traffic flowing on the interchange, so too are businesses like the Cleveland Clinic who built a facility even though the major interchange was a work in progress.
"We had high hopes," said Oliver Henkel, Chief External Affairs Officer for the Cleveland Clinic. "It is a very exciting day to see it become reality."
At Core Technology, not only is the company happy that shipments can now get in and out of town much quicker, but getting home from work will also be much easier.
"You would leave work at five o'clock and you would get on maybe I-90 at 5:30 or even 5:45, so it would take a half-hour to 45 minutes just to get out of here," said Jack Redilla, the president of Core Technology.
Leslie Dewitt from Lorain said, "It's probably going to take me 15 minutes earlier to get home, easy."
The City of Avon was able to finance the interchange project without raising taxes.