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US 24 expansion in Ohio opens today

Getting to Toledo could now be smoother sailing – as long as you start at the Ohio state line.

Ohio Department of Transportation officials announced Tuesday that their side of the “Fort to Port” project – designed to widen U.S. 24 to four lanes between Fort Wayne and Toledo – is now complete and will be opened to traffic today.

Officials had a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the final leg of the project in Ohio, which spans 21 miles from Napoleon to Toledo.

While the road will be open, an ODOT spokeswoman said there may still be some construction going on near Napoleon.

“There will be some lane restrictions east of Napoleon, but the majority of the route will have two lanes in both directions,” spokeswoman Theresa Pollick said.

According to ODOT, the westbound side of U.S. 24 will open to traffic near Fallen Timber Lane first, with ramps to and from several nearby state roads also opening.

The eastbound side of U.S. 24 will open to traffic six to 24 hours later.

Upgrades for the highway have been in the works for years. The plan has been to transform it from a rural two-lane highway to a four-lane limited-access expressway.

Ohio invested $420 million into the project. Indiana’s leg consists of an 11-mile stretch from New Haven to the state line that will cost about $170 million.

That stretch is expected to be complete by December.

jeffwiehe@jg.net

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