Delaware County motorists received good news last week when the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) announced left turn lanes will be added to Ohio 750 (Powell Road) at Ohio 315.
Last year’s addition of left turn lanes from Ohio 315 onto Ohio 750 noticeably reduced travel time for northbound and southbound traffic through the intersection that sees up to 13,000 vehicles a day.
Before the turn lanes were added, southbound traffic frequently experienced a three-minute wait to get through the intersection and northbound traffic sometimes backed up nearly as far as Mount Air.
It took weeks to add the 315 turn lanes, which were installed simultaneous with work to shore up the bank of the adjacent Olentangy River, which was threatening to erode, possibly taking part of the 315 pavement with it.
Similarly, addition of the 750 turn lanes is expected to close the road for 60 days, between Valley Run Drive and Ohio 315. The work is scheduled to begin March 17, as utility lines are moved.
One thing that won’t happen is any significant interruption to 750 traffic east of 315. ODOT says the bridge there is wide enough for three lanes, and only restriping will be needed.
That decision strikes a victory for all the westbound motorists who long ago starting using what ostensibly was the berm on the bridge as a through lane (which, we might add, was technically legal if someone in front of them was making a left turn).
For the rest of the project area, detours will be posted, sending traffic on Ohio 257 to U.S. 42 to U.S. 23 to Ohio 315 or Sawmill Parkway to Interstate 270 to Ohio 315.
ODOT predicts the work will be completed and the intersection open by Memorial Day and the Memorial Tournament.
The project cost is $3.5 million project. To help ensure timely completion, the contractor can be penalized or awarded $15,000 for each day the project is completed behind or ahead of schedule. The penalty-award amount is capped at $150,000.
Like the 315 turn lanes, the new 750 can be expected to reduce congestion at the intersection.
The improvement also could allow the intersection to serve as part of a detour once ODOT begins a major overhaul of the U.S. 23 and Interstate 270 area roadways.