Construction on the new Interstate-270 and U.S. Route 23 interchange is on schedule to begin in the summer.

Construction on the new Interstate-270 and U.S. Route 23 interchange is on schedule to begin in the summer.

Work will begin with replacement of the loop ramps that connect the two roadways. New ramps, similar to those at I-270 and Sawmill Road, are designed to be safer and more efficient.

Only after the entrance and exit ramps are completed will work begin on widening and improving North High Street between Wilson Bridge and Flint roads.

"We hope to make it safer and make traffic move before we get to the heart of the work," said Leslie Montgomery, project manager.

The Ohio Department of Transportation official attended the Worthington City Council meeting June 3, when council voted to spend about $225,000 on aesthetic improvements at the prominent crossroads.

The city funds will put the Worthington "touch" on signs, light poles, traffic signals and brick piers on the new North High Street bridge.

Council approved the aesthetic additions two years ago but had to vote on June 3 to release the money for the project, which will be bid in July.

Council did not balk at the increase in the estimated price, which went up from $180,000 to $225,000 in two years. Council also agreed to maintain the upgraded signs, light poles, traffic signals and piers.

"I just hope we continue to move forward with this," council member Bonnie Michael said. "This is going to give us an identity for our gateway, where people come into our community."

The most prominent entry enhancement will be the word, Worthington, embedded into black metal fences on both sides of the bridge. The logo will be visible to motorists headed in either direction on I-270.

The light posts will be black and will be similar in style to other posts in the city.

Mast-arm traffic signals will be installed at the exits onto North High Street and at the intersection with Wilson Bridge Road.

The brick piers will be nearly 12 feet tall, with limestone caps and limestone panels with the Worthington logo. They will be on each side of the bridge.

Montgomery told council construction-related traffic congestion in Worthington probably would not begin until October 2014, when work on the North High Street portion of the project is scheduled to begin.

"It will be exciting in October and frustrating in December," council member Scott Myers said.