The Ohio Department of Transportation has announced the project known as “The Trench”, located at the intersection of I-270 and U.S. 23, will open this week to help ease congestion in northern Franklin County.
The news will not only be a welcome sight to commuters but also for businesses who say they’ve struggled since construction began.
El Acapulco Restaurant server Patrick Lane said business has gone down since the project started as the construction has driven people away.
“It’s been so congested they go elsewhere,” he said.
It's the same story up the street at Goo-Goo Car Wash.
“We've been open about nine weeks and the numbers have not been what we hoped,” General Manager Terry Gould said.
Gould said people are bypassing his business and others along U.S. 23.
“I think people are just not interested in exiting the roadway and patronize our businesses,” he said.
Starting Thursday though, traffic will move un-interrupted through the trench.
Animation provided by ODOT show how traffic will flow under the roadway.
Cars along U.S. 23 will have more room to make turns. And that's just the beginning.
Two of the loop ramps will be reconfigured as well.
ODOT will also add traffic signals at each of the new ramps to allow for better flow of traffic.
When completed this project will not only make it safer to drive, but also ease congestion as traffic has increased in this area by 20 percent since 2001 according to ODOT.
ODOT said the I-270 and U.S. 23 interchange is the third most congested interchange in Central Ohio.