Project changes traffic pattern


SUNBURY — Starting next month, there will be a new traffic pattern at the U.S. Route 36/state Route 37 and Interstate 71 interchange.

“As part of a project that will replace the existing bridge that carries U.S. 36/S.R. 37 over I-71, a temporary RCUT (restricted-crossing U-turn) configuration will be put in place to maintain traffic during the project,” said the Ohio Department of Transportation in an alert issued this week.

The pattern will begin the night of March 4 and continue into the fall.

“Temporary U-turn lanes will be in place at Wilson Road east of the interchange and in front of the McDonald’s west of the interchange,” ODOT said. “There will be no left turns from US 36/SR 37 to I-71 during this phase of construction. Traffic will need to utilize the temporary U-turn lanes to complete left turning movements to the I-71 on-ramps. Left turns from the I-71 off-ramps will be maintained.”

This is a $5.94 million bridge preservation project, replacing the bridge deck and beams over I-71, and resurfacing the busy routes between Fourwinds Drive and Wilson Road.

“The bridge will be rebuilt using part-width construction, with two lanes of westbound traffic and one lane of eastbound traffic maintained during the project,” ODOT said.

Heading east of the I-71 bridge on 36/37, the empty two-story building that was at the corner of North Galena Road in Berkshire Township was recently demolished.

“Proposed improvements include the addition of turn lanes, lighting, and upgrades to the traffic signal technology,” ODOT said of that project, first discussed in 2020.

Delaware motorists are already dealing with traffic reduced to one lane between the railroad bridge at the Point and Glennwood Commons. This $31.1 million project is expected to continue through the spring.

Left turns at state Route 521 are allowed, but left turns will be restricted for Bowtown Road traffic during the peak travel times of 7-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m.

Going further west on the routes, there is the U.S. 36 Resurfacing Project. According to ODOT, the $9.45 million project is in development, with construction to begin in the summer of 2025 and ending in spring 2026. The ODOT project page said this will “Resurface U.S. 36 from the Union/Delaware County Line to the city of Delaware corporation limits. The project will also include shoulder widening work.”

“To help ensure the safety of the construction workers as well as the traveling public, motorists should remain alert, reduce their speed, and watch for stopped traffic while passing through the work zone,” ODOT said. “Remember, move over or slow down.”

Assistant Editor Gary Budzak photographs and reports on stories in eastern Delaware County and surrounding areas.

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