A portion of Sawmill Road from state Route 161 and Hard Road in Dublin and Columbus could see improvements to traffic flow, pending project funding, according to Dublin officials.

A study began toward the end of 2015 and concluded in June, said Jeannie Willis, Dublin's engineering manager for transportation.

The average daily traffic is about 50,000 vehicles on Sawmill Road from Hard Road to Route 161.

Dublin and Columbus partnered on the project.

Dublin's total cost for the study was $255,122, said public-affairs officer Lindsay Weisenauer.

Columbus spent $111,000 on the study, said Debbie Briner, community-relations coordinator for the Columbus Department of Public Service.

Sawmill Road mostly is in the Columbus corporate boundary, Willis said.

"Generally speaking, the western right-of-way line of Sawmill Road is the common (corporate) limit line between Dublin and Columbus," she said.

That means the west side of Sawmill Road is in Dublin, and the road and to the east is in Columbus, she said.

The study was meant to help develop a series of projects to ease congestion and improve traffic flow in the Sawmill Road corridor, Willis said.

From a list of options, staff members associated with the project preferred a $12.2 million solution that provided the lowest cost and the best way to reduce traffic congestion, she said.

In general, that option includes adding turn lanes, lengthening current turn lanes and potentially adding a southbound through lane from north of Bright Road to Interstate 270, Willis said.

The project scope also could include a new bridge over the interstate, she said.

More details about possible improvements were detailed in a June 18 memo to Dublin City Council about the study recommendations.

Sawmill Road has five lanes -- two through lanes in each direction, with a center two-way left-turn lane and additional turn lanes at intersections, according to the memo. The study found that widening the road to seven lanes would increase capacity but add traffic, so that solution wasn't recommended.

A proposed crossing over I-270 west of Sawmill Road would connect Tuller Road and Emerald Parkway via a three-lane bridge with pedestrian and bicycle accommodations, according to the memo.

The crossing would be expected to reduce traffic congestion and improve mobility in the corridor, according to the memo.

The project would be in both Dublin and Columbus, but funding commitments from either city have not been made, Willis said.

"What the actual funding solution will be has yet to be determined," she said.

Willis said multiple projects could result from the study. Because they aren't funded yet, they aren't included on any formal plan or timeline for project development or construction, she said.

In the meantime, Dublin staff members will engage with the public about the project and at some point will develop funding strategies, she said.

Reynaldo Stargell, traffic-management division administrator for Columbus, said staff members conceptually know the improvements they'd like to see at intersections.

Like Willis, he said better traffic flow could reduce crashes along the Sawmill Road corridor and help move traffic more efficiently. Because of the increasing residential and commercial development, moving traffic and minimizing crashes and delays is necessary, he said.

Options for pedestrians also are lacking along Sawmill, Stargell said. To increase safety for pedestrians, improvements could include a 10-foot-wide shared-use path for walking and bicycling on at least one side of the road, he said.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah