Dublin will work with Columbus on improvements in the Sawmill and Hard Road area.

Dublin will work with Columbus on improvements in the Sawmill and Hard Road area.

Dublin has been planning improvements at the Sawmill and Hard roads intersection and will time the work with the final phase of Columbus' improvements to Hard Road between Smokey Row and Sawmill Road.

Dublin City Council members last week approved an agreement to work with Columbus on right-of-way acquisition.

Both entities need property from the same owners and will work together on getting land for the projects.

"We thought it made sense to bring both projects together," Dublin City Engineer Paul Hammersmith said.

For the intersection improvements, Dublin plans to add right-turn lanes and additional left-turn lanes on Sawmill Road. A modification to the traffic signal will also be made.

The final phase of improvements Columbus is planning includes widening Hard Road between Sawmill and Smokey Row roads to four lanes.

Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2015, Hammersmith said.

Although the majority of the intersection is in Columbus, Dublin has been planning the project for a few years, because Columbus had no plans for improvements there, Hammersmith said.

Developments within Dublin also generated a lot of the traffic there, he added.

"What caused the improvement of the intersection is the development of Lifetime Fitness and the Kroger Center," Hammersmith said, noting that both businesses have contributed to a fund that will help pay for the improvements.

Council members Michael Keenan, Cathy Boring and Mayor Tim Lecklider, however, questioned spending money to improve an intersection that is not in Dublin.

Marilee Chinnici-Zuercher said Dublin often gets stuck paying the larger share when it works with other jurisdictions, but the intersection does serve Scioto High School. Once Emerald Parkway is completed, it will also generate traffic at the intersection, she added.

"It concerns me," Chinnici-Zuercher said. "I don't see relationships going in both directions."

Lecklider also cited concerns over fixing the intersection when traffic buildups are seen at the Sawmill Road exit from Interstate 270. Traffic headed north toward Hard Road often backs up, he said.

The Ohio Department of Transportation has been looking at ways to improve the exit, Hammersmith said, and is considering widening Sawmill north of the exit.

"There is no time frame, but they're trying to move it along," he said.

Other improvements could come to the Hard Road area this summer.

Council members last week approved the donation of land from Washington Township for two different projects.

Land at the corner of Riverside Drive and Hard Road was donated so Dublin could install a right-turn lane at Hard Road. The project is expected to be done this summer.

Washington Township also donated land for part of a shared-used path that will be constructed on the south side of Brand Road between Muirfield Drive and Earlington Parkway.