Gahanna motorists should expect lane closures near the Hamilton Road and Granville Street intersection between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. until Nov. 1.
The limited construction hours were set to ensure that all lanes remain open for the morning and evening commutes, as well as during school busing operations, said Mike Andrako, deputy service director.
The work, which is under way, includes work on the road and medians near the intersection, as well as sidewalk and traffic-signal improvements.
Although the project was supposed to be completed by the start of the school year, Andrako said, delays occurred because of issues with existing utilities.
“There were a lot of utility relocations, including a gas line that needed to be relocated,” he said. “Utilities within the right of way had to be moved.”
The transfer of overhead utilities to new power poles also was extensive and required action from multiple entities, greatly slowing the project schedule, Andrako said.
To further ensure pedestrian safety during construction, only one corner of the intersection will be under construction at any given time. Additionally, the city of Gahanna is monitoring the traffic signal timing at the intersection and adjusting it accordingly to increase traffic flow, as well as to maintain the safety of pedestrians in the crosswalks.
“Pedestrian safety has always been our first concern,” Andrako said. “We’re making sure the contractor is putting cones in the right areas. Kids weren’t used to crossing during the day, and it seems every hour they’re crossing back and forth. There has been a learning curve with the new crossing patterns. We and the kids have figured it out. Once we got fencing up to get kids to walk where we wanted them to walk, it became much safer. I’m out there every day. It’s a work in progress.”
Work is being done on the northwest corner, and total project completion is expected by Nov. 15. “I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure it’s complete before Nov. 15,” Andrako said.
The improvement is an Ohio Department of Transportation safety-fund project involving a combination of federal and state funding and a 10-percent local match.
Andrako said the project’s construction cost is $1.3 million, with the city paying 10 percent, or approximately $130,000. Brian Hoyt, Gahanna’s public information manager, said the city is committed to maintaining a safe environment for motorists, pedestrians and students at Gahanna Lincoln High School during the construction process. He said the city constantly is communicating with the schools and the construction company working on the intersection to ensure that a safe crossing environment is maintained.
After its completion, the project will introduce many new features that will enhance the safety of the intersection:
ă Sidewalks will be widened from 4 feet to 7.5 feet at all four corners of the intersection. Additionally, the crosswalks will be widened from 10 feet to 15 feet, with the addition of prominent transverse striping to increase the visibility of the crosswalk.
ă On all four legs of the intersection, pedestrian refuge islands will be installed within the crosswalks between opposing lanes of traffic. The islands will be outfitted with buttons that will trigger the walk signals if needed, providing a safer crossing environment.
ă Electronic “No Turn On Red” signs will be posted on all four approaches to the intersection. The signs will be activated when the pedestrian-crossing buttons are pushed, reducing right-turn-on-red conflicts when pedestrians are present.
ă From 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., walk time at the intersection will be increased from 7 seconds to 15 seconds to account for the increased pedestrian traffic during school hours.
ă Lighting will be added to the signal poles at the four corners of the intersection, providing greater visibility in the early morning and during winter months.
ă The 20-mph school zone will be extended west on Granville Street (to Donatos) and north on Hamilton Road (to McDonald’s) to incorporate the Hamilton-Granville intersection and the area around Clark Hall into the school zone.