ODOT makes I-90 exit ramp safer after residents home crashed into several times

Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 11:24 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - It’s a first step towards giving one neighborhood an added layer of security and some peace of mind.

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the city of Cleveland have just installed flashing yellow lights and signs as drivers approach the I-90 west off-ramp to West Boulevard. The goal is to signal drivers to slow down.

In November, an out-of-control truck slammed into Sherry Heart’s childhood home that sits just across the street from the exit ramp on West Boulevard.

Her porch and her home’s foundation suffered about $50,000 in damage when the vehicle crashed into the porch just missing the gas meter.

Minutes earlier family members were sitting on that porch.

But, Heart’s thankful that the Ohio Department of Transportation has lived up to its promise, putting the wheels in motion and working with the city of Cleveland to install the flashing lights, “This is exciting to me because it’s the first thing that ODOT has done with the help of the city of Cleveland.”

Heart hopes the signs and flashing lights will signal drivers to slow down because her home has been hit by four cars, and the guardrail that sits as a barrier has been destroyed 43 times, and that’s not counting the same problems to neighboring homes.

Heart said, “It won’t stop the accidents, but, it will stop them from possibly hitting the houses, and that’s really where somebody is going to get hurt.”

Ward 11 Councilman Danny Kelly says this is just the first step to ensure residents and drivers here are safe, “Now the stop light here -- they’re going to make it so it stays red. Because they’re saying when people come down the ramp and see the green light they’re trying to catch it.”

So, ODOT’s next order of business is to change the timing of the traffic lights, giving drivers more time to respond.

Heart said stone has to be cut to repair her porch, and she’s hoping barriers or barricades in the middle lane will be installed before the end of the year, as another layer of defense for her home.

The city also plans to install security cameras along the route, as well as a triangle at the end of the ramp that would force traffic to not only slow down but to travel left or right, not straight into someone’s home or yard.

Heart tells 19 News, “It’s the whole thing it’s not just one thing that’s going to make the difference.”

ODOT said they could make the improvements by the end of the year.