Orange barrel season is here, ODOT spending hundreds of millions - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Orange barrel season is here, ODOT spending hundreds of millions locally

(PHOTO: FOX19 NOW) (PHOTO: FOX19 NOW)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Have you been up and down the highways around the Tri-State lately?

There's plenty of road construction out there to give you a headache.

"I hate driving through construction.  It makes traffic horrible, getting to and from school horrible," said Al-Leon Morgan.

It's all she knows when she's driving the highways because she's only had a license for a few months.

"It's pretty bumpy, and the road is not even at all, so it's like waves depending on which highway I'm on.  Sometimes there are big potholes," Morgan told FOX19 NOW.

This year, ODOT has 1,100 construction projects happening that will total about $2.1 billion.

More than 100 of them are in District 8, made up of Hamilton, Butler, Clermont, Warren, Preble, Greene and Clinton Counties.  ODOT projects in those counties will total $477.3 million this year.

"We have projects on the interstate.  We also take care of US routes.  We take care of state routes.  We've got bridge projects," said District 8 Communications Manager Brian Cunningham.

ODOT officials say that's normal, and this year is pretty much just like the rest.

"We try to stay consistent.  We try to have an even program," Cunningham told FOX19 NOW.

Some of the most expensive projects in the area are happening on I-75 and I-71.

More than $250 million is being spent on five projects on those roads in Hamilton County alone.  Some of the projects have been going on for years, and will not be done anytime soon.

A widening project on I-75 and the I-71/MLK interchange project are slated to be done in 2017.

"Basically, 75 is being rebuilt from south of the river up through Dayton," said Cunningham.

For some drivers, they're willing to deal with the backups and barrels for another summer in exchange for a favorable outcome.

"It's definitely worth it, yeah," said local driver Sadie Brass.

Amid all the ongoing construction, the $91 million ODOT interchange project at I-75 and Hopple Street is about done.  The project started in 2013, and is expected to wrap up in June.

To see all of the plans for ODOT's construction projects in 2016 and when the projects will be done, click here.

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