Vanessa Feigen, For The Miami Student

Ohio construction workers will be busy this summer renovating a number of roads in various areas. (SCOTT ALLISON | The Miami Student)

The state of Ohio will be entering its biggest season of road construction to date starting this month.

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will begin projects enhancing Ohio roads. Approximately 1,600 projects will be taken on throughout the state. Some of these assignments include 130 interstate projects, 300 resurfacing or upgrading projects, 290 bridge repairs, 30 pedestrian bikeway improvements and seven projects along the state’s ports.

Sharon Smigielski, ODOT public information officer, said all of the construction is necessary for Ohio.

“It will help make the roads safer and enhance the quality of life for Ohio residents,” Smigielski said.

ODOT’s ultimate goal for the road improvements is to make all of the roadways safer to the traveling public.

Smigielski said ODOT adopted a Target Zero Initiative, which is a plan to assure there will be zero tolerance for any safety hazards on the roads.

“Most of the projects are brought about to tackle some of the safety issues that exist,” Smigielski said. “If there is a bad curve on the road, we design a project to straighten it out and modify it. We also reposition traffic signals enhancing the driver’s ability to see it.”

Butler County is one of the seven counties in District 8 that will be presented with 135 new improvement projects to its roads. The other counties include Clermont, Clinton, Greene, Hamilton, Preble and Warren.

Ohio will be adopting their very first “Super Street Intersection,” which is a project included in one of the four phases that will refine the Ohio 4 Bypass.

Gregory Wilkens, a Butler County engineer, said enhancements to the Ohio 4 Bypass are necessary to help move traffic on the roadway more efficiently.

“The Super Street will benefit Butler County by expanding the capacity of the road, allowing traffic to move more safely and smoothly,” Wilkens said.

By adding more lanes to the intersection, the gridlock and the bumper-to-bumper chaos seen around rush hour will hopefully be eliminated.

Wilkens also said the expansion will improve road safety because it will relieve the common congestion on the roads. The widening of the lanes will allow drivers to travel with a safe distance between other vehicles on the road.

“It will make traveling a lot less stressful than it already is,” said Miami University junior Emily Jeffers.

All of the state’s projects are funded by state and federal dollars. Road enhancements in Butler County alone will cost approximately $62,993,000.