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Medical Center Drive's Exit Reopens, But Ohio State Construction Is Just Ramping Up

Construction on Cannon Drive on Ohio State University's campus.
Ohio State University Office of Administration and Planning
The exit from state Route 315 to Medical Center Drive reopened on Wednesday, however construction continues on Cannon Drive and along the Olentangy River.

The exit ramp at Medical Center Drive and King Avenue reopened on Wednesday, a relief for frequent travelers on state Route 315.

"Our goal was to close it during the summer when we had a lower population, and toreopen it prior to the academic year, and that's what we're doing," says Dan Hedman, director of marketing and communications in Administration and Planning at the Ohio State University.

Indeed, the reopening comes just in time for Ohio State's move-in day this weekend. But that doesn't put a button on the construction at OSU. Cannon Drive is still under construction and the first phase of the project continues through 2019.

The first thing on the docket is to get the on-ramp for southbound 315 reopened, which the university hopes to complete by December of this year. 

The university has basically ripped out Cannon Drive along the west side of the medical campus to raise and elevate the road.

"The purpose of that is to raise it to the 100-year flood barrier protection. So it's going to be create flood protection for the campus," Hedman says.

The second phase of construction will bump that up to 500-year flood protection. The project has also eliminated multiple parking lots, which included more than 2,000 parking spots, to create developable land, which Hedman says could include medical buildings and other Ohio State buildings.

Clare Roth was former All Things Considered Host for 89.7 NPR News. She joined WOSU in February of 2017. After attending the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, she returned to her native Iowa as a producer for Iowa Public Radio.