Delaware County Engineer Chris Bauserman presented a capital road improvement plan to the Board of Commissioners on Monday, March 11. The plan calls for an estimated $140 million of county funds and an additional $100 million in federal, state and local partner dollars to be spent on 77 projects through the year 2023.
Over $26 million was spent on county road improvements in 2018.
“The largest was the South Old State project at $22 million,” Bauserman said. “The road went from a two-lane road to a four-lane road. Construction was $15.5 million. We spent $5 million on land acquisition and $1.5 million in design. We received $15 million in federal funding from ODOT (Ohio Department of Transportation) through MORPC (Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission).”
Bauserman added that every year, the county does a resurfacing program to preserve the condition of the current roadway surfaces. He said in order to get the best price for resurfacing, the projects are bundled together to attract a lot of competition.
“That was an $8 million program that included $5 million from local and other government entities joining together with us in the program,” he said.
Bauserman said another of the big projects in 2018 was the roundabout at the Liberty Road and Jewett Road intersection in Liberty Township, which cost $1.8 million. He said he was highlighting last year’s cost to emphasize that the projects his office undertakes are costly.
“It’s easy to get lost in a million this and a million that,” he said. “We were fortunate to receive a $480,000 grant from the Public Works Commission to help offset some of the cost.”
In Bauserman’s PowerPoint presentation, he highlighted the projects for the 2019 construction season.
“We’ll undertake the extension to Piatt Road next to the new Berlin High School,” he said. “That will be completed by August this year. The first days of that are underway and partially completed.”
Other 2019 road improvements Bauserman’s presentation listed include:
• Lewis Center Road and North Road with a roundabout and roadway improvements stating in April with a completion date in October
• The widening of the bridge and adding turn lanes at the intersection of Home Road and State Route 315 in Liberty Township starting in June and carrying over into next year
• Adding turn lane improvements to the Worthington Road and Freeman Road intersection in Genoa Township starting in June and ending in September
• Highfield Drive and Green Meadows Drive in Lewis Center starting June and ending in September
• Improvements to Old South 3C Highway that have already started and should end in May 2020
• Home Road extension east of U.S. Route 23 starting in August and ending in September of 2020
• East Powell Road starting phase two in August and ending in September 2020
Bauserman said the major projects would include Home Road east and west of U.S. 23, the Orange Road railroad underpass, Glenn Road extension, Big Walnut interchange, and improvements to the U.S. 23 corridor.
He added the future Home Road extension across U.S. 23 will be done in two phases.
“The first phase will get it over to Green Meadows Drive,” he said. “The second phase of the project is to extend it from Green Meadows across the CSX and the Norfolk and Southern railroad up to Lewis Center Road, connecting at the Piatt Road and Berlin Station intersection.”
According to Bauserman’s PowerPoint presentation, phase one of the project will begin in August and be completed in September 2020 at an estimated cost of $10 million. The second phase of the project is to begin in 2023-2024 at an estimated cost of $14 million.
However, the most aggressive project will be building a tunnel under the railroad tracks on East Orange Road with a construction window of 2024-2026 at an estimated cost of $16 million. The county and Orange Township will split $6 million of the funding with the remaining $10 million coming from the established Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and ODOT.
“It’s a township road,” Bauserman said. “But given the traffic volumes, I suspect at some point we’ll take that over as a county road. That’s why I think it’s prudent that we invest in that project. ”
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.