Dublin seeks feedback on U.S. Route 33-Route 161-Post Road interchange

SARAH SOLE
ssole@thisweeknews.com
A $48.61 million revamping of the U.S. Route 33 and state Route 161-Post Road interchange is in the planning stages. The project design is expected to include "loop" entrance ramps that would alleviate left turns necessary to access those ramps and roundabouts at the exit ramps instead of traffic signals.

Now that a design is solidifying, the public will have an opportunity to weigh in on plans for improving the U.S. Route 33 and state Route 161-Post Road interchange on the border of Dublin.

Dublin has scheduled a virtual public meeting from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 25.

City officials said they plan to stream the meeting online at dublinohiousa.gov/us33-sr161-post-road-interchange-virtual-meeting, and attendees will be able comment via the website during the meeting, which will include a presentation followed by time to address questions.

Dublin officials began seeking funds for the project in 2017, and agencies approved the allocations in 2019.

Dublin public-affairs officer Lindsay Weisenauer said the project's cost is $48.61 million. Of that, $30.98 million is for construction.

Weisenauer said the funding sources include: $10 million from MORPC, $11.25 million from TRAC, $2.6 million from Dublin, $3.5 million from Union County, $0.88 million from ODOT and $2.75 million in developer contributions. Dublin paid $17.63 in design and right-of-way acquisition.

Construction is slated to begin as soon as 2022, Weisenauer said, and it is expected to take approximately two years.

A plan for maintaining traffic flow during construction hasn't been developed, she said.

Improvements to the interchange are needed because it is already 200% over capacity, leading to backups during peak traffic times, Weisenauer said.

The area is experiencing economic-development growth "at a pretty rapid pace," she said.

Because the proposed design for the interchange has been refined, city officials wanted to return to residents and give people an opportunity to ask questions and offer feedback, Weisenauer said.

This is the first time the project has had a public hearing opportunity since funding was secured in late 2019.

"It was a good time to come back to the public," she said.

The proposed design features two new loop ramps that will eliminate the left-turn conflicts to enter the Route 33 ramps, Weisenauer said.

The intersections with both the east and west terminals will be improved to ensure viable traffic operations well into the future, she said.

Specifically, the west ramp terminal intersection will be a roundabout, and the east ramp terminal intersection has been determined to be a traffic signal.

"The design is not 100% complete," she said.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah

Eastbound vehicles stop beneath the U.S. Route 33 overpass at the state Route 161-Post Road interchange for a traffic signal on the border of Dublin.