It will be eight months before the first dirt flies on the construction of the redesigned Interstate 270-U.S. Route 33 interchange in Dublin, but municipal and transportation leaders are getting a head start on communicating with the thousands of residents and commuters whose lives will be impacted by two years of detours and roadwork.
Their message? You can get there from here.
"There will be a lot of differences in the way you get around," said Thom Slack, planning and engineering administrator for the Ohio Department of Transportation, District 6.
By taking advantage of the extensive communications campaigns of ODOT, the city of Dublin, and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, everyone should be able to find smooth transitions during the two-year construction period, planners said.
"You're going to be able to get there; it's going to be OK," Slack said. "Dublin will remain open for business."
Slack, Dublin and MORPC leaders spoke May 28 at a ceremony to unveil a new 270/33 interchange logo and to preview the project and the joint communications efforts.
Project updates and alternate route recommendations will be available through Dublin's website and at 27033interchange.org.
MORPC will also offer its Ride Solutions programs to employers who want to help their workers plan alternate methods of getting to work, whether it be through detours, carpooling, van pooling or taking public transportation.
To set up a meeting, contact MORPC Ride Solutions at 1-888-742-RIDE or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Designs are to be completed this summer and will include new ramp configurations, elimination of four major weaving and merging patterns, and additional lanes on both I-270 and U.S. 33/state Route 161.
The purpose is to improve safety and movement along the heavily traveled highways in the vicinity of the interchange, which was built in 1965. Traffic has quadrupled since then, according to ODOT figures.
"The number of crashes will go down significantly," Slack said.
The $75 million project is also meant to improve economic development in the area, and is seen as a regional project by MORPC.
During the next 20 years, the Northwest Columbus region is projected to add 40,000-plus jobs and more than $2 billion in investment, said Marsha Grigsby, Dublin city manager.
Phase II of the project, which will begin in 10 to 12 years, will eliminate the northbound I-270 to westbound U.S. 33 loop ramp and replace it with a flyover ramp. That phase has not yet been funded.