A well-traveled intersection in southern Delaware County could take on a new look within a year.

A well-traveled intersection in southern Delaware County could take on a new look within a year.

Delaware County commissioners voted unanimously Aug. 15 to approve plans to install a roundabout at the intersection of Lewis Center and Bale Kenyon roads. The project, which the Delaware County Engineer's Office estimates will cost about $2.4 million, also calls for the rehabilitation of the deck of the bridge over Alum Creek directly east of the intersection.

Delaware County Engineer Chris Bauserman said the county is not proposing a full replacement of the bridge.

"The substructure, the piers and the abutments are in good shape," he said. "It just needs a new deck surface."

The federal government will fund 80 percent of the project's cost through its Surface Transportation Block Grant program, while the county will be responsible for the remaining 20 percent.

Bauserman said he expects construction to start on the project in April and finish sometime near the end of July. Utility and other preliminary work could begin this fall.

According to county records, the intersection is expected to close for about a month as the roundabout is installed. Lewis Center Road will close east of the intersection for about three months during the project.

Bauserman said county officials will coordinate with Orange Township leaders, who are planning a "companion project" south of the intersection. According to county records, county, township and grant funds will go toward a $1.7 million project to widen Bale Kenyon Road between Lewis Center and Orange roads and add a new multiuse path.

"The maintenance and traffic and detours (will be) coordinated so we're not in conflict with one another," he said.

The county's 2016-17 road construction guide states the project could start as early as October with completion estimated for August 2017. One-way traffic should be maintained throughout the project.

Beth Hugh, the township's maintenance and parks director, said workers will add "some shoulder and lane width" to a road that is too narrow for the volume of traffic it sees.

Orange Township Trustee Debbie Taranto called the efforts to improve Bale Kenyon Road "probably one of the most important (road) projects" in the township. She said the roundabout should help relieve congestion in an area that can be a "traffic nightmare," while the widening work should improve safety conditions.

As part of the project, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has provided about $600,000 in Clean Ohio Trail Fund grants for the construction of a multiuse path adjacent to the roadway that connects to the Alum Creek State Park Trail.

tgallick@thisweeknews.com

@TWGallick