Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman has a new nickname for his director of public service.

Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman has a new nickname for his director of public service.

He's no longer Mark Kelsey. He's now "W.P." Kelsey.

That stands for "weather permitting," Coleman said.

Kelsey was given his new handle during last week's ceremony marking the groundbreaking to create what the mayor termed an "essentially new" Karl Road between East Dublin-Granville and Schrock roads.

The project -- which Coleman said Kelsey always insists he mention will be done "weather permitting" -- is expected to be completed in late fall.

The northbound lane of Karl Road has already closed for the reconstruction.

Paving the Way officials are urging motorists to use either Cleveland Avenue or Busch Boulevard as a detour to get from state Route 161 to Schrock Road.

Southbound Karl Road will remain open for the duration of the project.

The total reconstruction, along with a new roadway surface, will include new sidewalks, curbs, gutters and curb ramps, an upgrade to the traffic signals at Karl and Schrock roads, additional street lighting and improved storm sewers and some water lines.

The project is in response to a "longstanding request" of community residents, according to Coleman.

"We're real excited about this," he said during the gathering at Karl Road and Alpine Drive, which drew a small crowd of people from Sharon Woods and Devonshire, the two neighborhoods that straddle the north-south road.

The project is expected to cost $4.7 million.

"Understand, there will be some inconvenience ... because once it's over, on or about Nov. 1, weather permitting, this will be a brand new, beautiful roadway," Coleman said.

"This is really about a safer Karl Road and another step in improving one of our great neighborhoods," Columbus City Councilwoman Eileen Y. Paley said. "This project is all about making this neighborhood safer."

"We really appreciate the investment in our infrastructure," Northland Community Council President Emmanuel V. Remy told city officials.