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Columbus Commuters Take Advantage of New I-71 Tunnel

COLUMBUS (Ken Hines) -- A "major milestone" was reached in the Columbus Crossroads project on Sunday, when ODOT crews finished work on I-71 in the Downtown area.

At approximately 2 a.m., Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) employees completed work on a new tunnel that allows I-71 Northbound traffic to move to I-670.

"This weekend marks a major milestone for the I-71/670 construction project, in that all ramps and lanes on [the] highway portion of this project are now open after two years of construction," ODOT spokesperson Nancy Burton said.

Drivers who wish to gain access to I-670 from I-71 Northbound are now able to use the 423-foot tunnel in order to complete the transition, which is expected to cut down on traffic congestion in the area. Approximately 137,000 drivers use the interchange every day.

All ramps and lanes of I-71 Southbound were opened a week before the new tunnel completion signified the end of work on the highway's northbound portion.

ODOT workers will now concentrate on improvements to city streets that are expected to be completed in June 2014.
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