COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)– A major milestone in road construction is opening in Central Ohio for anyone traveling on Columbus’ North Side at U.S. 23 and Interstate 270.
A 4,000-foot trench will go under two major intersections: Campus View Blvd. and Flint Road.
Construction crews are working frantically to get the trench ready for the planned opening at 5 a.m. Thursday morning.
Since 2013, when construction began on phase one of the North Side Fix, businesses, neighbors and drivers have suffered through constant construction and backup on a monumental road project.
“I worked in this area 20 years ago and it was horrible then, so I am hoping it is going to be worth the what has it been three years now, so I am hopeful,” said Kimberly Flinn.
Flinn was getting her teeth cleaned at Firouzian Dentistry, which sits 100 yards away from the newly built trench.
“The trench is one part of the North Side fix, but the trench is unique it is the first time we have a traffic pattern in the state of Ohio,” said Ferzan Ahmed, Deputy Director of ODOT.
The quarter-mile long trench is lighted, and has 24 inch drains to handle heavy rains. It is 25 feet below the surface road and has a 17.5 foot clearance. Ahmed said a way to go North on U.S. 23 without getting stuck in traffic at the first two lights off of I 270.
“I think it is going to lighten the load. It is going to give an exit for every direction and that is going to make a big difference and also hopefully give people a break on choices they have to make,” said Shireen Firouzian, with Firouzian Dentistry. Her family has been providing dentistry to patients for 20 years.
The trench is just one part of the North Side fix’s first phase. The entire project at I 270 and U.S. 23 is scheduled be finished in the spring of 2016.