COLUMBUS– Ohio highways will be full of travelers for the holidays.
Traffic volumes in Ohio increase an average of 37 percent for the Christmas holiday and 33 percent for New Year’s Day. The last time the holiday fell on a Sunday – 2011 – the busiest travel days were the Thursday before Christmas and the Monday after Christmas.
AAA is predicting a record 103.1 million Americans, including 4.2 million Ohioans, will be traveling more than 50 miles from home. More than nine in 10 will be driving to their destination, the highest total volume since AAA began tracking holiday travel data in 2001.
“The holidays are a wonderful time to spend with family and friends,” said Director Jerry Wray. “We will do everything we can to make sure everyone gets where they need to go safely and on time. However, we also need drivers to do their part by following the speed limit, avoiding distractions, and making sure they and their passengers are wearing a seat belt.”
So far this year, there have been 1,094 traffic deaths in Ohio. Sadly, 319 of those deaths involved people not wearing a seat belt.
During high-travel holidays, ODOT makes every effort possible to reduce the size and scope of work zones. In some cases that’s not possible. Ohio has invested $2 billion into the state’s infrastructure this year with more than 1,000 construction projects in progress.
Travelers are encouraged to download Ohio’s official traffic app, OHGO, before they head out the door. The app, which is available for Apple and Android devices, allows users to view real-time traffic speeds, more than 600 live traffic cameras, construction zone information, and traffic alerts. You can even create a customized route and get alerts pushed directly to your phone.
Below are some of the state’s highway projects that could impact your travel:
State Route 104, Pike County
SR 104 is closed between SR 552 and TR 420 (Boswell Run Road) as part of the Lake White Dam rehabilitation and bridge replacement project. In addition, SR 551 is closed between its junction with SR 104 and CR 93 (Bricker Road), near the park office. Through traffic is being detoured by way of U.S. 23 and SR 32, and local traffic to the Lake White region is being detoured via SR 552 and SR 220. Roadway construction is anticipated to be completed by summer 2017, and the lake is expected to be restored for the fishing and boating season in 2017.
Southern Ohio Veterans Memorial Highway, Scioto County
Width restrictions are in effect on U.S. 23, between SR 728 and CR 55 (Fairground Road), and on U.S. 52, between the SR 140 and the CR 550/Wheelersburg exits, for bridge, ramp and wall construction. Although both routes are open to two lanes of travel in each direction, they are restricted to 12-foot lanes, and a reduced speed limit is also in effect at both locations.