A $650,850 project to resurface Columbia Road in North Olmsted and reconfigure the intersection with Lorain Road started last week.

Work is scheduled to be done by mid-October, officials said.

“It should be done before the bad weather hits,” said Brent Kovacs, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Two-way traffic will be maintained from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Kovacs said. Driveways will remain open, except when work is being done directly in front of them or when there is a second entrance to the property, Kovacs said. Some work will be done at night work to minimize disruptions to businesses, he said. Affected areas include Great Northern Boulevard north of Brookpark Road and Columbia Road north of Lorain Road.

Workers ground down portions of the road last week to prepare the road for resurfacing, Kovacs said.

The work will make it easier for trucks to make the turn without cutting over the curb and the tree lawn, said North Olmsted Planning and Development Director Kim Lieber. The roadway will go from 29 feet to 36 feet at its widest point. That is the maximum size the road could be without requiring utility poles and traffic junction boxes to be relocated, Lieber said.

“It’s a heavily trafficked route, so this should make it a smoother and safer drive for all motorists,” she said.

Widening the intersection will help reduce accidents, said North Olmsted Police Chief Bob Wagner.

Department statistics show 35 accidents at the intersection between March 2017 and mid-August, 2019.

“We’re all for it,” Wagner said. “It will make the area easier to get through and safer with better road conditions.”

The department will also check the area while work is being done, he said.

It is a joint project between the state and city of North Olmsted since Columbia Road is a state route. ODOT is in charge of the work and awarded the contract to Chagrin Valley Paving of Chagrin Falls. The state will pay $500,000 and North Olmsted will pay the remaining $150,853.

Contact this reporter at assoceditor@westlifenews.com or 440-871-5797.

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