Cemetery Road-Interstate 270 turn-lane project in Hilliard expected to begin next spring

A. Kevin Corvo
ThisWeek group

Hilliard engineers expect traffic flow on eastbound Cemetery Road to improve after the Ohio Department of Transportation extends a turn lane to the Interstate 270 northbound ramp next year.

City leaders applied for a grant for the project last year, and the final step came April 12 when Hilliard City Council approved a resolution authorizing City Manager Michelle Crandall to give consent to ODOT to advance to construction.

This map shows the eastbound left-turn lane to enter northbound Interstate 270. The Ohio Department of Transportation plans to extend the turn lane next year.

The project bid will be awarded in December, but construction will not start until spring 2022, said Breanna Badanes, ODOT's central Ohio public-information officer.

It will be a four-month project, Badanes said.

The estimated $1.2 million project includes design and construction and entails extending the left-turn lane from eastbound Cemetery Road to I-270 northbound, building pavement for a second left-turn lane, making modifications to prevent illegal movements between the eastbound turn lane and the eastbound through lanes and rebuilding the traffic signal at the intersection.

The project's cost will be covered by federal funding.

According to an April 12 memo from Crandall, ODOT administers the distribution of federal funds as part of the Highway Safety Improvement Program.

Each year, ODOT dedicates about $102 million for improvements at high-crash and severe-crash locations, and in 2020, Hilliard and ODOT applied for funding through the HSIP to make improvements at the Cemetery Road and I-270 interchange, according to the memo.

Extending the eastbound turning lane is expected to reduce accidents caused by traffic stacking and improve traffic flow for eastbound through traffic on Cemetery Road.

“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.

The eastbound turn lane is 200 feet, and it will be lengthened to 450 feet. The bridge will not be altered.

The project is not expected to cost Hilliard anything, but there could be some costs unique to the city, such as painting mast arms with material different than what ODOT otherwise would use, Schamp said.

Those are yet to be determined, but City Council last year appropriated $50,000 toward any such costs associated with the project, Schamp said.

Bob Stepp, a resident of Britton Farms who campaigned for Hilliard City Council in 2019 by emphasizing local infrastructure improvements, previously had appealed to ODOT for the project and said he was pleased to see the project had been approved.

He told ThisWeek last July he had been "fighting for it for more than a year."

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo