Anticipating a surge of traffic on Worthington Road once the extension of Gemini Parkway is completed, Delaware County officials are already exploring ways to ease the likely congestion.
Delaware County commissioners voted unanimously Monday to approve a contract to begin design work on the intersection of Worthington and Freeman roads.
County officials are considering adding traffic signals or a roundabout at the intersection.
“We will be looking at both and then selecting the best alternative to move forward with final design,” said Rob Riley, the county’s chief deputy engineer.
Commissioner Barb Lewis, a Genoa Township resident who travels in the area, welcomed the project.
“It can’t happen soon enough,” she said.
The county, in conjunction with the cities of Columbus and Westerville and the Ohio Department of Transportation, will undertake a $12 million extension of Gemini Place through the former site of the Germain Amphitheater, connecting east to Worthington Road.
The county’s share of the project is $4 million.
The road extension will be done in conjunction with the construction of a 350,000 square-foot IKEA store just east of Interstate 71 and north of Gemini Place at the site of the former Germain Amphitheater.
Construction on the IKEA store could begin as early as this year. It will be completed in the fall of 2016.
County officials say the road extension will help to alleviate congestion in the area.
Construction is expected to be completed in the summer of 2017.
The county also plans to widen Worthington Road from East Powell Road to Africa Road.
The $5.2 million project also includes the replacement of the bridge over Alum Creek.
With the exception of some short-term closure for utility work, two lanes of traffic are expected to be maintained throughout the project.