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      ODOT nears completion on new U.S. Route 24

      Construction crews continue work on the new U.S. Route 24

      Ohio Department of Transportation officials say the mild winter may have helped them, just a little bit, with their progress on the new U.S. Route 24.

      On Tuesday, ODOT's Director Jerry Wray officially launched the 2012 road construction season with a tour of the "Fort to Port" project.

      The initiative, started in 2006, will expand Route 24 from two lanes to four between Fort Wayne, Indiana and Toledo.

      ODOT officials say while they are still facing financial challenges, in funding all the state's construction projects, they expect the project in Northwest Ohio to be complete by the end of August.

      "It will be a real nice opportunity for people to travel 24 without stopping at stop lights and cross roads," the Fort to Port project district construction engineer Dennis Sharvat said.

      According to Sharvat, the design of the new U.S. Route 24 may also be helpful in deterring accidents with fewer cross roads and a new median.