Upper Arlington News

Waltham Road

Roundabout work will start by Sept. 20

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The reconstruction of Waltham Road is expected to enter its final phase by the end of the week, when work begins to build a roundabout at the intersection of North Star Road.

Upper Arlington officials last week said construction of the roundabout at the intersection of Waltham and North Star roads, where Waltham also connects to Kinnear Road, would begin by Sept. 20.

It is expected to continue until roughly Thanksgiving, when the roundabout project will be shut down for the winter months.

Work will resume next spring; city officials anticipate the roundabout will be completed and open to traffic by next summer.

Once completed, the project will yield what Upper Arlington City Engineer Dave Parkinson calls the city's first "modern roundabout."

It will differ from the existing "traffic circle" in front of the Upper Arlington Public Library's Miller Park branch, where Tremont Road and Arlington Avenue intersect, because the Waltham Road roundabout will be designed to control entrance, exit and circulation speeds based angles.

It also will provide a pedestrian refuge island at all four "legs," so walkers can only cross one lane of traffic at a time.

"The section of Waltham Road currently under construction between Northwest (Boulevard) and North Star is expected to be substantially complete and open to traffic by Thanksgiving," Parkinson said.

"A more precise timeline for the roundabout and the North Star/Waltham/Kinnear intersection is pending, but it will be late spring or early summer of next year."

North-south traffic on North Star will be maintained during much of the roundabout construction, since the roundabout is being built just to the east of the existing roadway and intersection.

Kinnear Road, however, will be closed to traffic at the intersection.

During the project, Kinnear and Waltham westbound traffic should take Kenny Road south to Chambers Road, turn north onto Northwest and turn left to onto Waltham.

Eastbound Waltham/Kinnear traffic should take Northwest Boulevard south before turning east onto Chambers. From there, turn north onto Kenny to return to Kinnear.

The roundabout is part of the overall reconstruction of Waltham Road from Northwest Boulevard to North Star Road, a $2.36 million project.

The reconstruction began last July and followed work in 2010 to rebuild Waltham from Andover Road to North Star and to install a new water line.

Aside from the roundabout, Parkinson said the Waltham reconstruction should be completed by about Thanksgiving. In addition to addressing a general deterioration of the roadway, the project will result in a slight widening of the road and installation of a parking bay and sidewalk on the south side of the street.

The roundabout will cost approximately $1.2 million. However, the city has received an $824,000 grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) to help fund the project.

Upper Arlington also received a $276,000 OPWC loan for the work, and has 24 years to pay it back.

Parkinson said the roundabout would reduce vehicle stacking and calm traffic, which is expected to increase as Ohio State University begins to develop land along Kinnear Road.

"A roundabout is the best and most economical solution for the future needs of this intersection," he said.

Full project details can be found at uaoh.net under the "Living in UA/Road Construction" section.

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