Residents who travel the busy Gender Road corridor will see the orange barrels disappear by year's end as the $2.4 million Phase 4 improvement project is completed.

Over the summer, drivers endured lane restrictions and a four-day closure of Gender Road between Walnut and Canal streets to upgrade the railroad crossing.

Crews have been finishing paving work, with the project expected to be substantially complete by Oct. 30, according to Matt Peoples, Canal Winchester's public works director.

"It's basically been a two-year process, and we're coming up on the end of that," he said. "The project has come in on time and on budget. Really, the only things we will be waiting on are the (traffic) signal poles."

Phase 4 is just the latest in a series of projects to improve the corridor, which is an access point to U.S. Route 33 and serves more than 35,000 vehicles daily. Many of them are driven by commuters who live in developing areas of Fairfield and Pickaway counties, Peoples said.

The city learned in 2017 that the Ohio Public Works Commission would supply $2.1 million for the project through a 55 percent loan and 45 percent grant.

Improvements to the intersection of Gender and Groveport roads included construction of additional turn lanes and through lanes to provide a more-efficient flow of traffic.

Crews also put in an additional southbound lane and a dedicated right-turn lane for westbound Groveport Road traffic to Gender Road and a second left-turn lane for eastbound Groveport Road traffic to Gender Road.

Other improvements include new traffic signals and street lighting at the intersections between Groveport Road and Walnut Street and extending the bike path to the west.

"Adding additional lanes will help alleviate the biggest problems there," city construction services administrator Bill Sims said. "I think it's going to work a lot better, and things should flow better through the intersection."

The city does not have plans at this time for more work on Gender Road. However, future intersection work might be discussed, Peoples said.

"This is technically the fifth phase of Gender Road," he said. "The original one was done in the mid- to late-'90s and widened the the original five lanes, and we've had four projects since then."

The other phases include:

* Phase 1, which cost about $3 million and involved upgrading the intersection of Winchester and Gender roads.

* Phase 2, which was a $4.5 million joint project with the city of Columbus.

* Phase 3, which was a roundabout project that cost about $2.1 million.

"I know the residents and commuters are ready for this to be done," Sims said. "It's been a long process."

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