The city of Upper Arlington was slated to begin reconstruction work at the Wellesley Drive-Lane Avenue intersection this week as part of a project aimed at reducing traffic backups and providing easier access to a key commercial corridor.
On Wednesday, April 10, construction was scheduled to start on a southbound left-turn lane and the installation of Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant pedestrian crossing features at the intersection.
The project, which also will yield a fully operable traffic signal at the intersection, is being conducted to improve traffic flow in the area and provide safer access to a 26,000-square-foot mixed-use development by Lane Avenue Development LLC.
Lane Avenue Development plans to open a five-story, 109-unit Homewood Suites hotel on the site of the former Lane Avenue Baptist Church in August, and the company also plans to build luxury apartments, parking areas for approximately 450 vehicles and space for new retail, restaurant and office uses.
"(Intersection work) will provide motorists leaving the mixed-use project access to a signalized intersection, and the provision of a left-turn lane will minimize any backup of traffic on Wellesley," said Emma Speight, Upper Arlington's community affairs director.
"When complete, there will also be an ADA-compliant pedestrian crossing at the intersection/traffic signal, providing safe access to and from the Shops on Lane Avenue for residents in the area, as well as hotel guests and apartment dwellers."
According to Upper Arlington Community and Economic Development Manager Bob Lamb, initial estimates for the intersection reconstruction were set at $45,000. However, he noted there have been design revisions that could decrease the project's price tag.
The work is being funding by the developer.
"This work primarily came about as a result of the Lane Avenue mixed-use project," Speight said. "As the project was conceived and reviewed by the city, some roadway adjustments were recommended to best accommodate the new project, as well as to match the intersection up to a change at the Shops on Lane Avenue ingress-egress, resulting from the Whole Foods project.
"The intersection is being widened to include a left-turn lane from Wellesley onto Lane," she said. "By widening the street, that triggered the need to remove and rebuild the (curbs and gutters) and sidewalks."
The intersection reconstruction is expected to conclude in early June.
Throughout the project, the Wellesley-Lane intersection will be closed to through traffic.
Travel on Lane Avenue and access into the Shops on Lane Avenue and Whole Foods at the Wellesley traffic signal will not be affected, though, Speight said. She said local traffic still can access Wellesley Drive from College Hill Drive to the north.
"An officer will be on hand during lunchtimes to assist with traffic into La Chatelaine and to monitor how things flow in general," Speight said. "The city will monitor and adjust the presence of an officer, if necessary.
"Local traffic can access Wellesley from Mount Holyoke by taking any of the nearby streets," Speight added. "We always encourage motorists to obey traffic speeds in construction zones, and to be watchful for construction workers and vehicles."
Additional details about the project are available at uaoh.net, or by calling the Upper Arlington Engineering Division at 614-583-5360.