Interstate 480 connects the Ohio Turnpike (I-80) with Cleveland and the Cuyahoga County suburbs. Following the Outerbelt South Freeway, I-480 follows a 42 mile long course between North Ridgeville in Lorain County and Streetsboro in Portage County. Entering Cuyahoga County 1.25 miles east of the Ohio Turnpike toll plaza, I-480 trends northward through the city of North Olmsted to Great Northern Mall and SR 252. The freeway parallels SR 17 east from Fairview Park to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) in southwestern Cleveland.
Straddling the Cleveland and Brook Park city line, Interstate 480 proceeds eastward into Brooklyn. The Outerbelt South Freeway rejoins the corridor along SR 17 through the Old Brooklyn neighborhood in south Cleveland. I-480 bends southward from the exchange with SR 176 (Jennings Freeway) to the village of Brooklyn Heights and the four level interchange with I-77.
East from Interstate 77, I-480 crosses the Valley View Bridge. The twin viaducts extend 4,155 foot high above the Cuyahoga River, the Cuyahoga Valley Railroad and Canal Road. Built in 19751 the spans lead I-480 into the city of Garfield Heights, where the freeway again crosses SR 17.
Interstate 480 runs along the Maple Heights city line by southeast Cleveland and Warrensville Heights to the split with the I-480 north branch. Referenced as Interstate 480N on Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) markers, the north leg of I-480 connects the Outerbelt South Freeway with both Interstate 271 north to Euclid and U.S. 422 east into the city of Solon.
The mainline of I-480 angles southeast from SR 8 and I-480N into Bedford Heights, where it combines with Interstate 271 south. The 3.3 mile long concurrency leads south through east Bedford and into the village of Oakwood. The I-271/480 overlap is one of three branch route combinations in the Interstate Highway System. The others are I-785/840 at Greensboro and I-587/795 at Wilson, both in North Carolina.
Crossing the Summit County line at Madedonia, I-271 continues southwest to Northfield Center Township and the village of Richfield. Interstate 480 resumes a southeasterly heading to the city of Twinsburg and Twinsburg Township. I-480 concludes at the trumpet interchange and access road joining the Outerbelt South Freeway with the Ohio Turnpike at SR 14.