The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission has approved a $1.36 million grant for safety improvements at the intersection of Gender and Refugee Road as one of 18 new projects that make up the annual transportation improvement program.
MORPC approved more than $77 million in federal funds to be used on the 18 area projects over the next four construction seasons. Construction on safety upgrades at Gender and Refugee roads is expected to begin spring 2015 and be completed by summer of 2016, according to MORPC Assistant Transportation Director Nick Gill.
"We have a process we go through every two years where we solicit applications and then have a committee that evaluates and scores the projects, then puts them out for public comment before moving forward with final approval," Gill said. "This project is also receiving some funding through the Ohio Department of Transportation and the city of Columbus. Ultimately, its estimated cost is $5.2 million, including some right-of-way purchases."
According to ODOT representative Tracy Allen, the safety-related project will use 90 percent federal and 10-percent local funding, which will come from the safety fund account.
"This project is intended to improve safety for traffic and pedestrians," Gill said.
Project documents show that both Gender and Refugee roads will be widened to accommodate a north-south bicycle lane, additional through lanes and dedicated right-turn lanes.
These improvements will continue through the intersections of Countryview and Stirling, Long and Refugee and Gender and Upperridge.
"The project will extend the existing mulituse path along Refugee from Gender to Long, and the bike lanes will be added on Gender where it's widened and where existing pavement will accommodate," Gill said. "Sidewalks will be installed and bus stop improvements may be made but haven't been determined yet, so coordination with COTA during the design phase will be performed."
The city of Columbus is responsible for this project and is currently in the preliminary phases of engineering and design.