Lewis Center Road is open from Olentangy High School to North Road, completing a project that started early in the summer and included the construction of a roundabout at North Road.

The roundabout opened in early September, but Lewis Center Road remained closed just east of the entrance to the high school for culvert work until Oct. 4.

According to the Delaware County Engineer's Office, which was responsible for the construction, delays due to utility relocation early in the process postponed its completion.

"The $3.3 million upgrade of Lewis Center and North roads is an effort to address the growth in the area, and is one of several projects that Delaware County and Orange Township are undertaking to help address traffic congestion and to promote bicycle and pedestrian connectivity in the Lewis Center area," said Robert Riley, the county's chief deputy engineer.

Lori Carter-Evans, Olentangy Local Schools director of transportation, said having the construction complete and the road and roundabout open will have an obvious positive impact on bus routes.

Bus drivers, she said, are looking forward to eliminating alternate routing that's been in use since the start of the school year.

"We're thrilled. Road closures always have a big impact on our routes," Evans said, adding that drivers will adapt quickly to newly available routes.

She said roundabouts in general have proven beneficial to bus travel.

Phil Rode, associate pastor at Lewis Center United Methodist Church, on Lewis Center Road between the new roundabout and the culvert construction, said the church's staff and members are happy and excited to have the project completed.

"A lack of direct access between U.S. (Route) 23 and Old State Road has been a challenge, but the new road improvements will help our community and church families access our Sunday services, our preschool and our buildings throughout the week," Rode said.

"As the housing market multiplies and new families move to Lewis Center, it was imperative that road safety and improvements be made. We're thankful for the county to make this a priority."

"Although the closure of Lewis Center Road has certainly been an inconvenience for all of us, ultimately the vastly improved traffic flow in that area will be well worth the wait," said Orange Township trustee Lisa Knapp.

Riley said while the roundabout and road construction are complete, some work still needs to be done.

Crews will remain at the site for the next few weeks, he said, "finishing the roadside grading and construction of a multiuse path that will connect North Farms to Olentangy Crossing at U.S. 23."

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