STRONGSVILLE, Ohio — An ODOT study now underway is analyzing if a new partial interchange is needed along I-71 at Boston Road in order to relieve traffic congestion on State Route 82 at the highway exit for SouthPark Mall.
“Traffic here is a pretty much a nightmare at certain times,” said driver Ed Loos. “It would certainly do a lot to alleviate that.”
ODOT spokesperson Amanda McFarland says the $300,000 study will be completed later this year. Construction costs are expected to be determined upon completion of the study, which will examine a potential southbound exit and entrance ramp on I-71.
”It’s been known for a very long time that the interchange between 71 and Route 82, you see a lot of backups on the southbound side there when you’re trying to exit to the mall or businesses or residents that are trying to get home,” explained McFarland.
She says more recently, ODOT created a deceleration lane on the highway to reduce the amount of rear-end crashes and traffic trying to exit on State Route 82.
“We want to look at all options and it’s going to take a lot of right of way to build a full interchange there,” said McFarland. “The study will look at what it would take to build a full interchange right of way.”
It’s not clear how much right of way would be required for either a partial or full interchange. However, it’s an answer McFarland says should become available when the study is complete. There are several homes along Boston Road near I-71.
She cautions any construction of a new partial or full interchange that needs approval by the Federal Highway Administration.