Canal Winchester: Gender Road work slated for early June to October

Scott Gerfen
ThisWeek
The latest Gender Road improvements from Canal Street to Winchester Boulevard in Canal Winchester include a new traffic signal at the Canal Street intersection.

Work on the next phase of upgrades to the heavily traveled Gender Road corridor will begin June 7.

In March, Canal Winchester City Council unanimously approved an $868,486 contract with Shelly & Sands Inc. for construction costs related to the fifth phase of the project.

Grants and loans from the Ohio Public Works Commission will fund 83% of the costs, city finance director Amanda Jackson has said. The city will receive $250,000 in grant funding. The rest will be paid through a 20-year no-interest loan.

“Every phase of Gender Road, not including the original widening project in the late 1990s, has received funding,” city public-works director Matt Peoples said.

The latest Gender Road improvements from Canal Street to Winchester Boulevard include:

• A new traffic signal at the Canal Street intersection

• New streetlights

• Relocation of the bike lanes adjacent to the northbound Gender Road traffic lanes

• Addition of a northbound right-turn lane from Gender Road to Bigerton Bend

• Addition of a northbound right-turn lane from Gender Road to Winchester Boulevard

Traffic in all directions on Gender Road, Winchester Boulevard, Canal Street and Bigerton Bend will be affected during the work, which is expected to begin June 7 and finish in October.

The city already is preparing plans for the sixth phase of the project, which would focus primarily on the U.S. Route 33 interchange; it will include a dedicated right-turn lane from northbound Gender Road to eastbound U.S. 33 and a pedestrian pathway across the bridge.

“We’re also looking at the capacity and movements at the interchange,” Peoples said. “Because of the pedestrian access through there, we would be changing the on-ramp to U.S. Route 33 westbound from Gender Road north and basically make it a right-hand turn and eliminate the on-ramp.”

As for future improvements, Peoples said a seventh phase could target an area south of Groveport Road where traffic has been increasing from the areas outside of Canal Winchester.

“That’s really the only north-south roadway to an interchange in this area. It definitely gets its share of regional traffic,” he said.

The city also has been reviewing an Ohio Department of Transportation study commissioned last summer that examined traffic congestion and crash patterns on U.S. Route 33 between state Route 104 and Pickerington Road.

Daily traffic counts completed in 2019 showed more than 76,000 vehicles travel Route 33 between Interstate 270 and Hamilton Road; more than 68,000 use the road between Hamilton and Gender roads; more than 52,000 vehicles use the route between Gender and Hill/Diley roads in Canal Winchester; and nearly 46,000 vehicles use Route 33 between Hill/Diley and Pickerington roads, according to ODOT.

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