One of Delaware County's busiest intersections is scheduled to reopen Friday, June 20 -- almost a month later than originally planned.
The Ohio Department of Transportation closed the western leg of state Route 750's intersection with state Route 315 starting March 17 to install left-turn lanes on Route 750, also known as Powell Road. The work on the Liberty Township intersection originally was scheduled to be complete by Memorial Day, but two unforeseen problems extended the closure.
First, a subcontractor for AT&T made an error during the relocation of utility lines in the first month of the project that required additional digging at the site. That mistake delayed the entire project and meant the road could reopen only temporarily for the week of the Memorial Tournament, which is hosted in nearby Dublin.
The intersection then was scheduled to reopen last week, but was delayed again due to concerns about wire baskets that had been installed alongside Route 750.
ODOT spokeswoman Nancy Burton said the baskets, which were filled with soil and plants, were meant to create "an attractive vegetative wall." She said workers noticed last week that some of the baskets, which resemble rabbit cages, were crumbling.
Although about 500 of the baskets already had been installed, ODOT called for all of them to be removed. That again delayed the opening of the roadway.
"Our concern was that (the baskets) were going to fall into the road and create a safety hazard," she said.
ODOT's contract with Complete General Construction of Columbus stated the company would pay $15,000 per day, up to $150,000 total, if the project was not finished in time.
ODOT officials previously said the company would not be affected by the disincentive clause because the utility error, not the contractor's work, caused the initial delay.
Burton said ODOT is investigating the collapse of the wire baskets, which Complete General Construction installed but did not manufacture.
"Why the baskets collapsed, why they did not function -- we're still looking into that," she said.
Burton said ODOT has not yet determined if financial penalties of any kind should be assessed for either the utility error or the malfunctioning baskets.
The turn-lane installation on Route 750 is part of a $3.5 million project to improve traffic flow at the intersection. Left-turn lanes were installed at the north and south legs of Route 315 last year.