ODOT will extend turn lane from Hilliard's Cemetery Road to I-270

KEVIN CORVO
kcorvo@thisweeknews.com
The Ohio Department of Transportation will undertake a $1.2 million project with Hilliard in 2022 to extend the left turn lane from eastbound Cemetery Road to Interstate 270 northbound and upgrade the traffic signals.

The Ohio Department of Transportation will undertake a $1.2 million project in 2022 to extend the left turn lane from Hilliard’s eastbound Cemetery Road to Interstate 270 northbound and upgrade the traffic signals.

ODOT will begin design of the project this year, but construction will not begin until 2022, said Breanna Badanes, an ODOT spokeswoman.

“Lengthening the turn lane will prevent traffic from backing up in the through lanes of eastbound Cemetery Road, which leads to increased crashes,” Badanes said.

The $1.2 million cost includes design and construction.

The turn lane is 200 feet and will be lengthened to 450 feet by the project, Badanes said.

The bridge will not be altered; the median will be used to extend and widen the turn lane until it reaches the bridge, Badanes said.

Letty Schamp, deputy city engineer for Hilliard, said Hilliard is partnering with ODOT on the project.

“This project will reduce crashes at the intersection, reduce vehicle backups eastbound on Cemetery Road over the I-270 bridge and improve overall intersection operations and safety,” Schamp said. “We are excited to partner with ODOT on this project and greatly appreciate the funding through the federal Highway Safety Improvement Program.”

If the project stays within budget, no costs are expected for Hilliard, Schamp said.

“Once we get into design and we have detailed plans, specs and estimates, Hilliard may have a small local share if costs exceed budget,” she said.

The Highway Safety Improvement Program funding has a cap of $1.2 million for this project, Schamp said. If that amount is exceeded, ODOT and Hilliard would determine how to share the cost.

ODOT is the lead agency because the project is within the limited-access right of way of I-270, Schamp said.

Bob Stepp, a resident of Britton Farms who campaigned for Hilliard City Council last year, previously had appealed to ODOT for the project and said he “feels good” that the project is on track.

“I’ve been fighting for it for more than a year,” said Stepp, whose council campaign included a push to address infrastructure in the city. “We have outgrown the I-270 interchange.”

Stepp said he also asked ODOT to widen the off-ramp from I-270 southbound to Cemetery Road.

He said he was told that project is not likely to happen soon.

However, he said, he initially was told by ODOT that the widening of the turn lane for I-270 northbound from Cemetery was unlikely to happen.

“I put in a lot of time and effort. … I’m thrilled to see it will be done,” he said.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo