I-77 Southbound Ramp Expansion Complete, Efforts to Improve Traffic Flow and Congestion Continue
The Rockside Road and I-77 Southbound Entrance Ramp Widening project (Project), which began in July of 2016, wrapped up last month at a final construction cost approaching $2.0 Million.
While this Project is complete, it is the first step of many that the City is planning to take with the goal of continually improving traffic flow and minimizing congestion on Rockside Road, particularly within the limits of the I-77 interchange.
Back in 2015, the City engaged traffic engineers at the GPD Group to prepare a Safety Study for the entire corridor. This study identified over ten (10) specific items, at a total cost in excess of $6 Million, which would help to achieve the goals of improving traffic flow and minimizing congestion on Rockside Road. However, because of the potential impact of these improvements to I-77 and I-480, ODOT and FHWA policy required that a formal Interchange Modification Study (IMS) be completed to justify that the Rockside Road improvements proposed in the Safety Study would not negatively impact the highway system.
The City authorized GPD to complete the required IMS in early 2016; however, it was determined this study would be delayed until a new baseline of traffic flow could be established following the implementation of the Project.
With the widening Project complete, the IMS process will resume shortly and should be finished this year. Upon IMS completion, the City is planning to apply for federal funding to assist with future roadway projects.
While the IMS and federal funding application process will take a number of years to complete, the City plans to continue taking steps to optimize the existing traffic signal system, as well as completing additional road construction projects and upgrades along the Rockside Road corridor.
City leadership is committed to improving traffic flow and alleviating congestion along this very significant business corridor. To reach this goal, Mayor Togliatti and City Council will continue to support both short-term and long-term projects to assure a smooth commute for all those who work and travel on Rockside Road.