MEDINA - After almost two years of construction and much to the happiness of the business owners along the corridor, a widening project along U.S. Route 42/North Court Street is almost complete.
It's now a five-lane roadway through the heart of Medina's business district.
All five lanes of traffic are now open.
We are all paved and are moving on to a few punch list items and finishing the signals and lighting," said Scott Turchek, ODOT's project engineer.
"Motorists will be able to get in and out of businesses so much faster than they used to once the signal installation is complete and the timing is finalized.
"The overall flow of traffic will be so much faster and smoother than it used to be."
Safety and efficiency were the major reasons why the Ohio Department of Transportation felt the need to widen the main thoroughfare. The 1.44-mile project stretched from Fenn Road in Medina Township to Harding Street in the city.
"That roadway was not functioning well, said City Engineer Patrick Patton.
"… Much of the roadwork is done. There are a few odds and ends."
Patton said there are still some traffic signals that will have to be installed.
"It looks good," he said. "I'm excited that it's almost done. The sooner, the better."
ODOT started doing utility work - gas, water and electric - in summer 2016. Construction started in November 2016 and now the project is wrapping up right on schedule.
Construction of the project included pavement widening and installing sidewalks, a multi-use path, raised medians, traffic control measures, traffic signals, lighting, water line replacement and drainage improvements.
Patton said there were no major problems with the project - at least "nothing out of the ordinary."
He said traffic was always an issue when construction was ongoing.
The project came with a $27.1 million price tag. Patton said $18 million of that figure was for construction.
He said the city's portion was $2.3 million. The city asked that a water line be replaced underneath the roadway, at a cost of $1.2 million to Medina.
"It was a big project," Patton said.
The city engineer said landscaping to the medians will be the city's responsibility. Trees will be planted on the medians.
He's happy for the businesses that the roadway is almost done.
"It was rough on many of them," Patton said.
When the project was in its infancy, many businesses complained about the medians. In addition, trucks making deliveries coming from the north couldn't turn left into many businesses.
The same went for emergency vehicles coming from the north. Left turns weren't allowed, other than at major intersections, requiring detours or alternate access points through much of the construction.