Interstate 70 is one of the most heavily used, important highways in the United States. In addition to its role as a major regional and national transportation artery, it is relied on by tens of thousands of local residents.
That means keeping I-70 in good condition should be a top priority.
It is one the Ohio Department of Transportation should adopt regarding damage to the westbound lanes of the highway near Exit 220, between Bridgeport and St. Clairsville.
ODOT inspectors were on the site soon after a culvert under the highway gave way Thursday, as a result of heavy rainfall. They were attempting to determine just how badly the road had been damaged, if at all.
Even if damage was restricted to the hillside not immediately under I-70, repair work will be necessary. That was obvious because the slip had toppled a large sign pole just a few feet from the highway guardrail.
Westbound traffic was restricted to one lane while inspectors checked the site Thursday.
No doubt it will take a few days to determine what repairs are needed. Again, however, it is obvious something needs to be done, and just as clear that until it is undertaken, traffic at the site may be restricted. That will result in a safety hazard, even if it does not slow the flow of cars and trucks.
ODOT officials are aware of the importance of I-70. They should make repairing the slip a top priority.