Have you ever wanted a scorecard to keep track of where all the road construction projects are taking place so you can avoid the ones in your area?
Road work is done by a variety of sources: federal, municipal, townships and even developers. The state itself is investing $2.35 billion into nearly 1,000 projects this year on 5,645 miles of pavement, the equivalent of a four-lane highway from Columbus to Albuquerque, N.M. While we may not like the ubiquitous orange barrels, they are a sign of progress.
Here’s what we’ve been able to glean so far about this year’s projects, but note that this is by no means exhaustive.
Delaware County: The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) received applications last week for funding transportation projects for State Fiscal Years 2020–2025. The $30-$40 million in funds will be used for construction, expansion, reconstruction or preservation of roads and bridges; capital costs for public transit; bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
Improved Interchange at I-71 and Routes 36/37 and Proposed Sunbury Parkway: Last year, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) “on the human or natural environment for the project.” Three public hearings took place in 2016-2017. In December, ODOT’s Transportation Review Advisory Council (TRAC) approved “$10 million for construction of a new interchange on I-71 south of the US 36/SR 37 interchange in Delaware County” as a Tier I (ready for construction) project.
ODOT said the Routes 36/37 to I-71 south interchange project involves “Widening the Rt. 36/37 entrance ramp to I-71 south. ODOT will relocate a utility pole and move guardrail further from the roadway to improve safety. The ramp was reduced to one lane for three weeks to give the contractor room to work. Previously, Rt. 36/37 eastbound traffic had a continuous right turn lane onto the ramp. Now, because there’s only one lane, both directions of traffic cannot turn at the same time so eastbound Rt. 36/37 traffic must stop on red. Once work is complete, the ramp will return to two lanes with a continuous right turn from Rt. 36/37 east. Work is expected to be complete June 25, weather permitting.”
The $162 million project will be constructed in six phases between 2018 and 2035; funded by NorthGate Land Company LLC (and other developers), the Village of Sunbury’s New Community Authority 1 (NCA1), Traffic Impact Improvements (Columbus Outlets LLC), the Village of Sunbury (Sunbury), along with other attributable funding and State and Federal Transportation funds (TRAC).
ODOT project manager Steve Fellenger has said the work would not be continuous for 17 years, it would be done in phases.
Berkshire Township has told its residents, “Improvements have been made and are being completed to the existing interchange. These have been funded by the developer of the Simon-Tanger Outlet Mall, which opens in June 2016.
“Funding for future improvements, including the combined southern interchange, must be obtained before work can be approved, scheduled and commenced. $16.5 million from Mall sales are to be provided to ODOT via the Berkshire Landing New Community Authority, a quasi-governmental agency formed by Delaware County and the Mall developer.
“The construction of an east-west Sunbury Parkway, would have to be built and funded by the developer. Future widening of this section may or may not be entirely funded by developers.”
The FONSI describes the scope of the project:
“The project will involve construction of an interchange at I-71, south of the existing US 36/SR 37 interchange. This interchange will carry the new Sunbury Parkway over I-71 and run east and west of the interstate, operating in conjunction with the existing interchange to the north at US 36/SR37. The interchange will include a relocated I-71 northbound off-ramp which will provide access to both Sunbury Parkway and US 36/SR 37 and will occur south of the current northbound off-ramp. Access to US 36/SR 37 from northbound I-71 will be accommodated by a collector/distributor road.
“Access to I-71 northbound from Sunbury Parkway will also occur via the collector/distributor road. Southbound on-ramps to I-71 from Sunbury Parkway eastbound and westbound will be provided. The existing interchange at US 36/SR 37 will remain, but as stated above, the northbound exit from I-71 to access both Sunbury Parkway and US 36/SR 37 will be at the same exiting point.
“The project will also construct Sunbury Parkway from Africa Road at US 36/SR 37 east to Wilson Road as a six-lane road with a median, multi-use path and sidewalk. The Africa Road intersection with US 36/SR 37 will be realigned to create a four-legged intersection with Sunbury Parkway. 3B’s & K Road south of Sunbury Parkway will be relocated to create an intersection with Sunbury Parkway and the future Fourwinds Drive, which will be extended south by others. A cul-de-sac will be constructed on 3B’s & K Road, north of Sunbury Parkway.
“The extension of Wilson Road south from its current terminus at the Tanger Outlet Mall to the future Sunbury Parkway will be constructed with two lanes in each direction by Northgate Development, LLC.
“East of Wilson Road, a new arterial roadway, also identified as Sunbury Parkway, will be constructed by the Village of Sunbury New Community Authority 1 (NCA1). This project, the “Committed Sunbury Parkway,” will be built with two travel lanes (one in each direction), with left turn lanes at the intersections with South Galena Road, Domigan Road, and US 36/SR 37 (Cherry Street). Because a five-lane corridor will eventually be necessary to meet the future traffic needs of development, all the right-of-way and grading along the Committed Sunbury Parkway will be for the ultimate (five-lane) configuration. All culverts and the bridge over Little Walnut Creek, will also be built wide enough for the ultimate (five-lane) configuration.
“The project will widen on the inside of the Committed Sunbury Parkway in order to provide five lanes with a grass median from Wilson Road to US 36/SR 37 (Cherry Street) along with constructing additional turn lanes to accommodate the future traffic demands at Galena Road. The project, east of Wilson Road, will not involve construction of bridges or culverts or include any earth disturbing activity outside of the right -of-way previously established for the Committed Sunbury Parkway.”
The project would displace two existing homes and two businesses (RCD RV Supercenter and K-O-K Products). Access to Alum Creek State Park facilities will be maintained. It should also expedite the proposed NorthGate commercial development.
A frequently asked question sheet issued in 2016 about Sunbury Parkway said the road will initially be two lanes, expanding to two lanes in each direction, with traffic signals at the following intersections: Africa Road/U.S. 36/S.R. 37; Fourwinds Drive and South 3 B’s & K realignment; I-71 northbound Ramp; Wilson Road; Galena Road; Domigan Road; Sunbury Parkway and U.S. 36/S.R. 37 on the far east side of the project.
The sheet said, “The additional southern interchange ramps and the Sunbury Parkway connection to Wilson Road will be ready for construction in 2018 pending funding availability. The extension of Sunbury Parkway west to Africa Road will be phased for later years. To aid their plans for development in the area, a private development group will begin constructing two lanes of Sunbury Parkway from Wilson Road east to existing US 36/SR 37 beginning in 2019.”
Galena: State Route 3 and South Galena Road Intersection Improvements during 2018. According to ODOT, “The project will include construction of left turn lanes on State Route 3 at Galena Road and installation of a new traffic signal with a crosswalk and provisions for a future sidewalk or shared use path on Galena Road. This project is a cooperative effort between the Delaware County Engineer, the Village of Galena and the Ohio Department of Transportation.”
Genoa Township: South Old 3C Highway, Mt. Royal Avenue to Freeman Road reconstruction with curbs, gutters, storm sewers and a sidewalk continues. Reconstruction of South Old 3C Highway from Mt. Royal Ave. to Freeman Road including storm sewers, curbs and gutters and a traffic signal at Hawksbeard Drive. South Old 3C will be closed to through traffic between Hawksbeard Drive and Mt. Royal Ave. beginning September 2017 with southbound traffic maintained to local residences. The $6 million project’s first phase is expected to be finished in November.
S.R. 656 between Pearl Street and Center Street in Olive Green closed for a week recently for culvert pipe replacement.
U.S. 36 between 3Bs and K Road and Wilson Road had a traffic island removed recently.
New Traffic Pattern at State Route 257 and Home Road roundabout: Instead of two-lanes, the roundabout has only one circulating lane. Yellow pylons were installed to block the sections of pavement no longer in use. Home Road & State Route 315 Intersection, a $7 million project, is scheduled to go into next year. It consists of widening of Home Road to 5 lanes, widening of the bridge over the Olentangy River, construction of a bike path and installation of a new traffic signal.
ODOT has had to contend with filling a sinkhole on U.S. 23 South between Hawthorn Boulevard and Meeker Way that opens up on a regular basis.
In July, CSX Transportation briefly closed railroad crossings at Bunty Station Road, Bean Oller Road and Hyatts Road.
Culvert replacement took place at SR 203 between Gallant Rd. and Buttermilk Hill Rd.; S. Section Line Road between Warrensburg Road and SR 37; between Klondike Rd. and Section Line Rd.; Horseshoe Road between Whipple Road and Sherwood Road; S. Old State Road between Alum Crossing Drive and Parklawn Drive; Kelly McMaster Road between Veley Road and US 42 North.
Curve Road between Sweeney Road and Lackey Old State Road was closed for a couple weeks for cement stabilization and road reconstruction; as was Clark Shaw Road between South Section Line Road and Liberty Road.
Delaware County Ramp at Routes 36/37 to I-71 South Widening Update: The ramp has returned to two lanes with a continuous right turn from Rt. 36/37 east.
Countywide Pavement Resurfacing costs $7 million this summer for asphalt resurfacing, micro-surfacing, chip sealing, crack sealing, berm repair, pavement marking and other work on various county and township roads. Traffic maintained.
Centerburg Road over Culver Creek is undergoing a design-build rehabilitation of bridge just south of Fredricks Road. 2-month closure.
Bainbridge Mills Drive at Sawmill Parkway is being relocated to connect to Old Sawmill Road.
A traffic signal at Home Road & Scioto Chase/Tree Lake Blvd. this summer will cost $200,000.
A new roadway from Cheshire Road to Berlin Station Road serving Olentangy Berlin High School, and construction of a single-lane modern roundabout at the intersection of Cheshire Road and Piatt Road will include a 2-month closure of Cheshire Road. The $3 million Piatt Road Extension project will go into 2019.
This fall, there will be Lewis Center and North Road improvements that go into next year and cost $3 million. It involves Widening of Lewis Center Rd. from the Olentangy High School entrance to the CSX Railroad including a single-lane modern roundabout at North Road. Also minor widening of North Road. approximately 1/2 mile north of Lewis Center with bike path.
Phase 2 of the East Powell Road Improvements will begin in 2019-20 with an investment of $8 million. This will mean the widening of East Powell Rd. to 3 lanes from Old State to Bale Kenyon Road with new traffic signals at Tahoma Street, Coldhar-bor Ave. and Walker Wood Blvd.
The $7 million Worthington Road improvements, Phase 2 start in 2019-20 and mean the much-needed widening of Worthington Road to 5 lanes at Africa Road, and adding a right turn lane on Africa Road. Worthington Road to transition to 3 lanes north of Africa Road to Highland Lakes Ave.
Phase 1 of South Old State Road Improvements, a $15 million project, should end in October. This is the reconstruction and widening of South Old State Road from Wynstone Drive to Abbey Knoll Drive; 4-lane section with shared use path and sidewalk and new turn lanes at Polaris Pkwy. Two-way traffic maintained during construction on Old State with short term side road closures.
Franklin County: The ramp from U.S. 23 at I-270 was closed briefly overnight recently for cleaning and sealing. I-270 between Cleveland Avenue and Cooper Road had lane reductions for sign work.
Without going into much detail that would double the length of this story, there has been plenty of work on I-670; I-270 and SR 315, and at the I-70 and I-71 split, including overnight bridge work. Ramps are often closed at 10 or 11 p.m., and reopen the next morning at 5 a.m.
Knox County: Resurfacing on U.S. 36 from Patton Road to east Mount Vernon city limits, S.R. 768 from U.S. 36 to S.R. 3 continues to Oct. 15. Pavement repair at S.R. 229 from U.S. 62 to U.S. 36 and S.R. 715 from U.S. 36 to the Coshocton County line and pavement repair on S.R. 541 was completed in July.
Recently, a new traffic signal at S.R. 229 and Edgewood Road in Mt. Vernon was turned on.
The Central Ohio Rural Planning Organization (CORPO) held a virtual open house recently for the 2018-2040 CORPO Transportation Plan of seven rural counties (Fairfield, Knox, Madison, Marion, Morrow, Pickaway and Union).
Beginning July 20, micro-surfacing began on US 36 from the east end of the Mt. Vernon city limits to approximately two miles east of the US 62 intersection. Traffic is being maintained with flaggers and is expected to be done October 15.
US 36 between High St. in Sunbury and Knox County was reduced to one lane in both directions for paving in June.
Licking County: Mink Street between Broad Street and Cable Road will be reconstructed from July 5 to Nov. 15. Mink Street will close between Broad Street and Columbia Road for a full reconstruction of the road until mid-December.
S.R. 310 traffic will be shifted with closures until a project is completed in September. Beginning Thursday, July 19, SR 310 SB closed to traffic between Columbus Parkway and Palmer Road as part of the CRG Etna Park 70 Project, which will create a SB right turn lane and a NB left turn lane. SR 310 SB will be closed to traffic for approximately 3 months, with a southbound detour of Columbus Parkway to Lynns Road to Palmer Road to SR 310.
Bridge construction: Manning Street will be closed from Case Avenue to North Buena Vista Street and Ohio Street will be restricted to one lane over the North Fork Licking River. Both projects are estimated to be completed by the end of November.
Beginning Monday, August 27, SR 13 is restricted to one lane just south of US 62 while ODOT crews repair a culvert, with an estimated completion of Friday, September 7.
Madison County: S.R. 161 between U.S. 42 and U.S. 33 was closed for a week earlier this year for culvert replacement.
Marion County: S.R. 4 between Kenton Galion Road and Barford Road was closed for two weeks last month for culvert replacement; as was SR 4 between Township Rd. 68 and Morral-Kirkpatrick Rd.
In July, US 23 between SR 95 and the County Line was reduced to one lane in both directions for paving and repairs.
Also in July, State Route 309 between Pole Lane Rd. and the Marion Senior Center was reduced to one lane to construct temporary pavement. Both directions of travel on Rt. 309 with will be maintained with flaggers. Construction of the temporary pavement is expected to be complete August 31, weather permitting.
Morrow County: US 42 between SR 95 and SR 61 was recently reduced to one lane for curb ramp installation in Mt. Gilead. SR 95 between I-71 and SR 314 was reduced to one lane for bridge replacement through August 30.
US 42 between SR 61 and SR 19 was also reduced to one lane in both directions for paving in June. Two-way traffic will be maintained using flaggers. All lanes will reopen each afternoon.
Also in June, SR 314 between SR 95 and SR 229 was reduced to one lane for paving.
In July, State Route 309 between Pole Lane Rd. and the Marion Senior Center was reduced to one lane to construct temporary pavement. Construction of the temporary pavement is expected to be complete August 31, weather permitting.
Union County: Recently, SR 37 reopened between SR 4 and SR 347 after culvert replacements. Honda Parkway was reduced to one lane for bridge work.
SR 31 was closed to local traffic for culvert replacement; as was SR 739 between SR 31 and SR 347; and SR 347 between SR 4 and SR 31. The latter, a seven-culvert project, should reopen Sept. 14.
US 33 between Route 739 and Northwest Parkway is undergoing bridge and pavement repairs through Oct. 1.
The new Main Street Bridge in Marysville reopened in July. The bridge on SR 31 has been closed between Elwood Avenue and 3rd St. since April. During construction, two detour routes were set up; one for cars and another for trucks.
Inskeep Cratty Road was closed at SR 245 due to bridge damage.
During the summer rains, there was road closures due to high water at SR 245 between Middleburg Plain City Rd. and W. Darby Rd.; as was SR 31 in multiple locations. Use caution while driving. The Union County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies remind motorists to never attempt to drive through high water — it could be deeper than it looks. Turn around, don’t drown.
Sources: Delaware County Engineer, Berkshire Township, Genoa Township, MORPC, Ohio Department of Transportation.