Drivers who have grown weary of navigating orange barrels on East Broad Street in Bexley soon will have a reprieve.
The reconstruction project that has taken place over the past year along the thoroughfare is scheduled to be completed by mid-June, said Bill Dorman, city service director.
"Broad Street (construction) should be pretty much wrapped up" before the end of the month, he said. "The streetlights are going to get refurbished, but that should be later this year."
The East Broad Street work is a $7 million project that consisted of two phases. The first involved water line replacement along East Broad Street from Nelson Road on the west and Gould Road to the east in 2015 and 2016. The second phase included repaving and widening last year and this spring.
The East Broad project also included the installation of medians, which are designed to enhance the look of the streetscape and slow traffic to prevent accidents, Dorman said.
"We wanted something that is somewhat iconic and represents Bexley," he said of the medians.
"Some people say they cause congestion, but they really don't," he said.
While planning to install the medians, Dorman said the city consulted with bicycling advocates and the city of Columbus about how the medians would affect traffic flow. He said he spoke with Columbus Division of Fire officials to ensure the medians would not impede emergency vehicles.
"Columbus Fire said, 'We'll get where we need to go,' " Dorman said.
Once the final asphalt overlay on East Broad has been completed, traffic lanes will be marked to indicate that motorists and cyclists must share the lanes, Dorman said. With two lanes in each direction, Broad Street has been widened a total of 18 inches to accommodate Central Ohio Transit Authority buses, he said.
"COTA buses are 11 feet from mirror to mirror," he said. "When trucks and buses were driving there, it was pretty tight."
While the East Broad Street project is drawing to a close, work is still underway on roadway and waterline improvements to Ashbourne Road, Ashbourne Place and Roosevelt Avenue from East Broad to East Main Street. The $5 million project is funded by a 25 percent grant and a 75 percent zero-interest loan from the Ohio Public Works Commission.
Another major project that involves road construction is sewer-line replacement on Parkview and Columbia avenues as part of an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency requirement that Bexley update its aging water and sewer infrastructure, Dorman said.
"The city's infrastructure is fairly old and the joints are leaky," he said. "The EPA is requiring communities to prevent overflows into sewers."
Dorman estimates the city spends $200,000 to $300,000 annually on sewer- and waterline replacement to meet those EPA requirements.