LEWIS CENTER — Summertime, and the driving is easier in Orange Township. That’s because road work on two of its heavily-traveled residential thoroughfares is winding down.
“Powell Road is now open!” the township said recently on its Facebook page, and most of the comments that followed were positive.
A two-mile section of East Powell Road from South Old State Road to Worthington Road has been reconstructed and widened in a multi-year project. This resulted in phased road closures for each segment of Powell Road and posted detours. “The need for improvements has been identified due to crash history, traffic congestion and lack of pedestrian infrastructure within the corridor,” said the Delaware County Engineer’s Office (DCEO).
The county’s Road Construction Guide said the East Powell Road Phase 2 project is an $8.6 million investment using county road and bridge funds. The guide said the project began last June and is expected to be completed this October.
“The City of Columbus is also developing a project to extend Lyra Drive north to Powell Road, to be constructed in 2 phases,” Delaware County said. The land has been cleared near the overpass, and motorists can see Interstate 71 and the Polaris area from that portion of Powell Road.
“East Orange Road is Now OPEN for Travel, though some construction still remains,” said the DCEO on its website. That construction is expected to end this November.
Phase 2 of the East Orange Road Improvements project is described as an “Orange Township project to widen Orange Road to 5 lanes from the U.S. Post Office to just east of Green Meadows Drive and add 3 new traffic signals at Highfield, Green Meadows and Blue Holly” drives, the DCEO said. This project cost the township $2.5 million, with matching $500,000 grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission.
Both Orange and Liberty townships had five road projects in the 2021-22 season, the guide said, tying for the lead in Delaware County. Both townships share the widening of Home Road to a 3-lane section between Perry Road and U.S. Route 23, a $4 million project.
“Home Road (Liberty & Orange Twps.) will be CLOSED to east-bound traffic, but open for west-bound, beginning Monday (7/12) thru Friday (11/12) between Perry Road and US 23 for Road Widening Construction,” the DCEO website recently said.
Taking place in both Orange and Genoa townships, the Worthington and Africa Road Intersection, a $6 million project, will continue into next summer, with nearby hills currently being bulldozed flat to improve sightlines.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.