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Rt. 27 project due to finish early

Photo by Phill Arndt, For The Miami Student

By Maddie Wood, For The Miami Student

The Ohio Department of Transportation contractor moved traffic flow to temporary pavement installed on the west side of U.S. 27/Patterson Avenue late last week.

The temporary road stretches from an area near Tappan Hall south bound to the Oxford Cemetery, and this specific construction is part of an extensive transportation project that started early last March.

The Route 27 construction project will include a new bridge over Collins Run, paved shoulders, widening with turn lanes at major access points and modern traffic signals at University Park Boulevard, McKee Avenue, Spartan Drive and Chestnut Street.

The project is set to be complete in three phases, the first of these involving the construction of the new bridge. The recently paved temporary lane west of the current bridge will carry southbound traffic over the western part of the bridge.

Concrete barriers will be placed to direct traffic on these new travel lanes, and construction of the new bridge will begin with the removal of nine and a half feet of the existing bridge and installation of 26 feet of the new bridge.

According to plans approved by the Ohio Department of Transportation, the speed limit will be lowered to 35 mph for the duration of the construction. The width of the new bridge will be about 68 feet and include two eight-foot sidewalks on each side of the replacement bridge.

The City of Oxford website reported that two travel lanes would be present during the construction of the new bridge.

Vincent Cirrito, the landscape architect for Miami University, said construction should continue through the winter months as weather permits.

"It is expected this new traffic pattern will be in place through late spring or early Summer 2015 as the Ohio Department of Transportation builds the new bridge across Collins Creek and the permanent new roadway along the east side," Cirrito said.

The construction that will most impact student and faculty drivers includes the elimination of the left turn lane to westbound Chestnut Street.

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According to Cirrito, left turns can still be made, but they must be performed from the thru traffic lane instead. This lane closing is expected to cause delays northbound, and will likely increase delays at other nearby intersections such as Patterson and Spring Street.

City Engineer Victor Popescu said he does not believe delays will be too bad during the construction.

He added that he hopes that the construction will be completed before its May 2016 deadline.

"The completion date is dependent on the weather, additional work and unforseen delays," Popescu said. "However, it should be pointed out that at the last progress meeting, the contractor stated that he would like to complete the project by the end of 2015."