The Ohio Department of Transportation’s District 6 recently released additional information about a proposed Interstate 71/U.S. 36/State Route 37 interchange project that would include the addition of a second interchange south of the existing I-71 interchange.
The proposed second interchange, also known as the southern interchange, is a $125 million project that, according to ODOT, has been the subject of a feasibility study because additional traffic demand is estimated to exceed the existing interchange’s available capacity as new development, including the Simon-Tanger outlet mall, comes online.
The estimated $125 million project cost includes right of way costs, engineering and design costs, and $85 million in construction costs. Southern interchange construction is estimated to begin in 2018, with completion in 2020.
ODOT has been partnering with local developers since 2007, seeking to improve the region by adding the second interchange, with a goal of improving freeway access and opening up additional land for further development.
Partnering with ODOT are the Delaware County Engineer’s Office, Northgate Development, Simon-Tanger and the Robert Weiler Co.
Northgate, through its New Community Authority, plans to privately construct a proposed Sunbury Parkway and utilities east of the project study area. That section of road would be built as part of a no-build condition before construction of the proposed southern interchange.
Northgate has been championing the effort in making a southern interchange a reality over the last eight years. Throughout the preliminary process, Northgate has put together layouts, funding and a strategy to complete the southern interchange and connective road network in phases.
Sunbury Village Council members will hold a public hearing immediately preceding their Wednesday, April 6, meeting to consider a zoning change to planned commercial district for 250 acres of the Northgate Commerce District east of I-71.
The village ordinance that would approve that zoning change is currently tabled and scheduled for a third reading.
ODOT will hold a public meeting at Northgate Church, 7097 E. State Route 37 from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 28, to share three proposed combined interchange modification options and accept public comment.
Also on the agenda will be a discussion about how the interchange and road would connect to local roads, a project timeline, cost estimates and the next steps that will be taken in the selection of one of the three southern interchange alternatives.
ODOT officials have said that all comments on the three southern interchange options must be received by May 13. Comments may be submitted at the April 28 public meeting or sent to Steve Fellenger, P.E. project manager, Ohio Department of Transportation, 400 E. William St., Delaware, OH 43015. Fellenger will also accept comments via email at Steven.Fellenger@dot.ohio.gov.
For more information, log on to the ODOT website at dor.state.oh.us. Follow links to District 6; on the left rail, click on I-71 and U.S. 36/SR 37.
Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.