Worthington Road: Upgrades roll forward as southern Delaware County growth continues

Jim Fischer
ThisWeek
The project involving the Worthington Road intersection with Africa Road will include widening Worthington Road to five lanes through the intersection and adding a right-turn lane for southbound Africa Road travel.

Worthington Road in southern Delaware County will undergo some changes over the next couple of years.

A major route connecting the eastern portion of Delaware County to the Polaris area, Worthington Road is scheduled for improvements at its intersections with Africa Road this summer and Lewis Center Road in 2022-23, according to the Delaware County Engineer’s Office.

The projects will continue work along the heavily traveled corridor that already includes a new signal at Freeman Road, upgrades at the Big Walnut Road intersection and improvements at Gemini Parkway, assistant county engineer Ryan Mraz said.

“None of these projects should surprise anyone. It’s southern Delaware County, and there’s a lot of growth, which leads to a lot of traffic,” Mraz told ThisWeek. “What road isn’t heavily traveled in that area?”

Mraz said his office anticipates construction to begin at Worthington and Africa roads, in Orange Township, “in a few months.” Preconstruction work – tree clearing, utilities relocation – is underway, he said.

The project will include the widening of Worthington Road to five lanes, including a turn lane at Africa Road. Reconstruction will extend north to Highland Lakes Avenue and will include some flattening of the roadway.

Traffic on both Worthington and Africa roads will be detoured for portions of the project. Detours will be marked.

The cost will be about $6 million, Mraz said.

The Delaware County commissioners recently approved an accounting measure to receive funding from the Highway Safety Improvement Program, which includes federal funds administered by the Ohio Department of Transportation, for improvements at Worthington and Lewis Center roads in Genoa Township.

ODOT is funding the full $2.27 million for the project, ODOT spokesperson Breanna Badanes said.

This work will begin in 2022 and likely into 2023, chief deputy county engineer Rob Riley said.

Badanes said the intersection is ranked fourth in the county for the number of traffic accidents. 

“Crash data shows 46 total crashes from 2014 to 2019, including 14 injury crashes,” Badanes said. “Not only were the majority of crashes right-angle crashes; 100% of the injury crashes were right-angle crashes.”

The project includes a roundabout at the intersection, Riley said. Reconfiguring the nearby Lewis Center Road-Rome Corners Road intersection also was considered, he said.

“We have looked at several different options to address the crashes at this intersection, including an alternative that we developed a few years ago that would have realigned Worthington Road to Rome Corners. However, that option didn’t fully address the crash history we have seen at Worthington Road,” Riley said. “There is really no history of crashes at Rome Corners Road and Lewis Center. That said, we will continue to monitor that intersection.”

Riley said engineering is underway, and he hopes to be able to share preliminary designs by fall.

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