Traffic-congestion relief is on its way in southern Delaware County as the Ohio Department of Transportation prepares to reopen state Route 315.
ODOT closed Route 315 between state Route 750 and Jewett Road in mid-June to allow workers to install a new retaining wall between the roadway's slope and the Olentangy River. ODOT spokeswoman Breanna Badanes on July 21 said the roadway remains on schedule to reopen by Aug. 1 -- as long as the elements cooperate.
"It's always weather-permitting," she said.
Badanes said workers may need to close individual lanes near the project site after the road reopens for paving work, but traffic in both directions would be maintained by workers with flags.
The closure of Route 315 immediately caused consternation among residents and officials in Liberty Township and Powell as more cars flooded onto other roads.
Powell City Council voted shortly after the closure began to ban left turns at the Four Corners intersection of Liberty and Olentangy streets in an attempt to ease the increased traffic congestion.
City spokeswoman Megan Canavan said residents have told Powell officials traffic has improved since the change.
"We've heard a lot of positive feedback from the residents," she said.
The legislation barring left turns at the intersection will not expire until two weeks after Route 315 reopens. Multiple council members requested the end of the restriction be delayed to allow city officials to study the effect on traffic after Route 315 reopens.
Canavan said she expects council to discuss the restrictions again at its 7:30 p.m. Aug. 15 meeting at Powell's Municipal Building, 47 Hall St. She said council may or may not make a decision on the future of the ban at that meeting.
Downtown business owners and residents will have time to give feedback on the future of the restriction at the meeting.
"It would be great to hear from the community," Canavan said.
Another traffic improvement near downtown could further complicate council's decision.
Mast arms have been installed for new traffic signals at the intersection of Grace Drive and Olentangy Street just east of the Four Corners. Canavan said the signals could be activated by the Aug. 15 meeting.