Point, bridge among ODOT projects


Orange barrel season is in full swing: The Ohio Department of Transportation has seven construction projects in Delaware County this year, the most obvious at the Point and Interstate 71.

The Point expansion at U.S. Route 36/state Route 37 is a $31 million project that began in March 2023. ODOT’s District 6 Construction Guide says it will “widen U.S. 36/SR 37 under the railroad bridge on the east side of Delaware. Reconstruct the Norfolk-Southern railroad bridge over the roadway. Improve U.S. 36/SR 37 intersection at SR 521.”

While it has appeared complicated to navigate at times, there have only been temporary lane closures with turn restrictions. The silver lining is that the Point project is expected to be completed in September 2025.

The U.S. 36 improvements at I-71 began in June 2023 and is a $5.9 million project. It will “replace U.S. 36 bridge over I-71, resurface U.S. 36 from east of Fourwinds Drive to east of Wilson Road” with “two lanes of westbound traffic and one lane of eastbound traffic maintained on US 36/SR 37. Access to I-71 on-ramps maintained by temporarily,” ODOT said. It is estimated to be finished this October.

The U.S. 36/SR 37 and Galena Road intersection improvements are the third project along these busy routes. The $2.8 million project also began in June 2023 and will end this October. In order to install turn lanes, upgrade the traffic signal and add lighting, we are currently in a 100-day closure of North and South Galena roads with detours.

Over in Harlem Township, a roundabout is being built at the intersection of state Route 605 and Fancher Road. Work on the $2 million project started in January and is estimated to be completed in September. Expect a 40-day closure with a detour and temporary lane closures.

Also starting in January was a combined $2.3 million project called bridge preservation in both Delaware and Union counties. Here, it involves pedestrian crossing improvements along state Route 750 in the Village of Ashley. ODOT has a completion date of October.

Moving over to U.S. 23, a culvert will be replaced over Oberlander Run from June to July. The $2.7 million project will involve temporary lane and shoulder closures, including a 14-day restriction of 23 to one lane in each direction, ODOT said.

The least expensive project at $200,000 is bridge work over state Route 257 over the pedestrian tunnel at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. There will be a closure of SR 257 southbound with detour and temporary lane closures. The bridge rehabilitation will only go from September to November, so there is light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak.

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

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