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Heavy Traffic Expected For Today's IKEA Store Opening

State transportation officials estimate 12 to 15-thousand shoppers will swarm the new IKEA store at Polaris when it opens today.  Ohio Department of Transportation highway maintenance administrator Mitch Blackford says his agency, along with stakeholders and local law enforcement, have developed a management plan to handle the crowds and the large number of vehicles expected in the area.  Blackford says ODOT will be using social media and freeway signage to remind people of basic traffic rules.

The plan identifies 46 potential problem areas, and Columbus police will have more than a dozen officers on duty, directing traffic and managing street lights.  The IKEA facility has 2-thousand parking spaces, and there will be overflow parking at the old Polaris amphitheater.  Blackford says recent growth in Central Ohio has given agencies experience dealing with high volumes of traffic.


For those driving in the Polaris area, Blackford recommends checking the agency's real-time traffic website to see how traffic is affected.

A native of Chicago, naturalized citizen of Cincinnati and resident of Columbus, Alison attended Earlham College and the Ohio State University. She has equal passion for Midwest history, hockey and Slavic poetry.
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