Worthington City Council member Bonnie Michael said she's excited about the Interstate 270/U.S. Route 23 overhaul finally beginning.
"It's going to be a reality after all of these years," she said.
Various state, county and local officials tossed the ceremonial dirt at a groundbreaking Tuesday morning, Sept. 10, for the overhaul project, dubbed the "North Side Fix."
Construction will begin Monday morning, Sept. 16, on the three-year project that will eliminate the dangerous crossover patterns on I-270 and widen Route 23 to improve the flow of northbound traffic.
"This is one of the busiest interchanges in Ohio," Jerry Wray, director of the Ohio Department of Transportation, said during the groundbreaking ceremony.
He praised the innovative approach to the project, which will include two trenched lanes from the outerbelt north to a point just south of Northwoods Boulevard.
Express traffic will take those Route 23 lanes, which will go under the busy intersections at Crosswoods and at Flint Road. Other lanes will be maintained for local traffic.
Ferzan Ahmed, ODOT District 6 deputy director, urged drivers to use caution during construction.
Think of the construction congestion as "10 minutes of delay, not a nightmare," he said.
"Our goal is zero injuries for our people and for our commuters," he said.
During construction, two lanes of traffic will be maintained in each direction on Route 23. Because many phases of construction are involved, ODOT has created a website at 270-23.com to keep motorists updated on progress.
The site features sign-ups so users can receive traffic alerts, and live cameras will show motorists traffic conditions, with assistance in choosing alternate routes.
The $72-million project is scheduled to be completed in 2016.