A portion of Refugee Road will be closed for a month starting Monday, June 1, while improvements are made to facilitate the construction of two new local schools.

A portion of Refugee Road will be closed for a month starting Monday, June 1, while improvements are made to facilitate the construction of two new local schools.

Two left-turn lanes will be build on Refugee Road between Pickerington and Saylor roads. The work will require that portion to road to be closed to all motorists except those living in the neighboring Huntington Hills subdivision until July 1.

The turn lane on eastbound Refugee Road is being installed to provide access to Toll Gate Road and Toll Gate elementary and middle schools. The two new Pickerington Local School District schools are scheduled to be open for the 2009-10 year.

The westbound turn lane will provide access to Huntington Hills Drive.

"We'll have to maintain the local traffic," said Michael Eramo, vice president of John Eramo & Sons Inc., the general contractor for the project. "The residents who live at the closing will still have access (to their subdivision.)

"There is a detour posted. Other motorists will have to follow the detour. It will inconvenience people, but there's nothing we can do about it."

Eramo said the Huntington Hills Drive access to the neighboring subdivision will be closed while the turn lanes are installed. An access drive at Huntington Way will remain open during the work.

The turn lanes are part of a project to realign Toll Gate Road in anticipation of the new school buildings. Work on Toll Gate Road began in August.

"Basically, they're building the two schools and they've realigned Toll Gate Road to line up with Huntington Hills Drive," said Holly Mattei, executive director of the Fairfield County Regional Planning Commission.

In addition, a traffic signal will be installed at the realigned intersection where Huntington Hill Drive will meet Refugee and Toll Gate roads.

The Toll Gate realignment is expected to be completed in August, prior to the beginning of the 2009-10 school year, Mattei said.

nellis@thisweeknews.com