COVENRY TWP.  The Ohio Department of Transportation is making a change to the traffic pattern on Interstate 277/ U.S. Route 224 at the Interstate 77 interchange.

The change calls for the I-277 eastbound middle lane to be a decision lane for either I-77 southbound or eastbound U.S. 224. Currently, the right two lanes force drivers onto I-77 southbound.

"Before this change can happen, the contractor needs to fabricate new signs denoting the modification in traffic pattern and restripe the road," Public Information Specialist with ODOT District 4 Brent Kovacs said.

Kovacs said the restriping is weather sensitive and the signs are on order. ODOT hopes to make the change as soon as the weather gets warmer.

"As the first phase of the change, the concrete barrier wall has been removed and replaced with cones before the more permanent changes can take place this spring," Kovacs said.

The change though is not a result of a fatal three-vehicle crash that occurred at the end of February.

"The decision has been made due to lower than expected volumes utilizing the ramp to I-77 south during the central interchange closures last summer," Kovacs said.

Kovacs reminds motorists to pay attention to signs and minimize distractions while driving.