The intersection of North Broadway and Olentangy River Road in Columbus, Ohio is seeing tremendous commercial development opportunities, including OhioHealth’s corporate headquarters and future commercial development. To accommodate the 1,600 additional OhioHealth workers and the additional development at this location, B&N designed improvements to increase access to and from the development sites and surrounding City streets.
Working closely with the City of Columbus, B&N added a new exit ramp from State Route (SR) 315 southbound to North Broadway. This ramp travels under SR 315 to avoid right-of-way impacts. B&N also realigned several other ramps within this existing interchange to facilitate easier access and mobility from the freeway to the local street system as part of this project.
To move traffic through this area and maintain access to the adjacent Riverside Methodist Hospital while the interchange was being reconstructed, B&N developed a complex maintenance of traffic scheme to temporarily shift the entire existing freeway alignment into the infield to allow the bridge to be constructed in one construction phase. This was much faster than using part-width construction techniques that would have required lane closures and multiple shifts of the existing traffic to complete. This strategy saved an estimated $2 million in construction costs and allowed three lanes of traffic to be maintained in each direction during construction which was critical on this busy artery that connects the City’s northern suburbs to The Ohio State University and downtown.
As a part of this project, B&N also designed capacity and signalization improvements along Olentangy River Road and North Broadway with a primary goal of improving all modes of transportation, including walking and biking. This included intersection improvements that add capacity, new signal poles and pedestrian push buttons with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant curb ramps at several locations which will enhance pedestrian accessibility and mobility. Utility coordination and relocation occurred throughout the project to improve the streetscape and accommodate the new shared-use path connecting the new development site to the existing sidewalks and bike trails in the area.
This portion of the project focused on widening the city streets to add capacity and to match the roadway grade to minimize impacts and reduce construction costs. Close coordination with the site improvements perpetuated by the adjacent development was key to ensure seamless connections and adherence to the project schedule. This included following the Ohio Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) Local Public Agency (LPA) process to gain the necessary approvals for the interchange modification and infrastructure improvements.
The project received a 2021 Honor Award in the Transportation Category from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Ohio.