Delaware County officials recently opened the last leg of the Sawmill Parkway, a project that has been nearly 30 years in the making.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony and first ride up and down the 4.5-mile stretch of roadway took place Nov. 10. County officials, including County Engineer Chris Bauserman, County Commissioners Gary Merrell and Jeff Benton, and County Auditor George Kaitsa, were joined by representatives from the cities of Delaware and Powell, and Delaware-based Trucco Construction, which built the last phase of the Parkway at a cost of $30.4 million. A portion of that cost was contributed by the city of Delaware.
“Today marks the completion of Sawmill Parkway from the Franklin County Line to the City of Delaware,” Bauserman said. “I am grateful for the multitude of individuals and organizations that have had a hand in finishing this project. This is a vitally important connection for our county transportation system and I’m really pleased with how the project turned out. Motorists and businesses in this rapidly growing area will benefit from the parkway for years to come.”
The idea of a north-south connector between Franklin County and the city of Delaware was broached first in a 1988 traffic study completed by the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission. Population was beginning to grow in the southern portion of Delaware County and long-term transportation planning became necessary.
The first segment of the 11-mile Sawmill Parkway, as the roadway north of Sawmill Road in Franklin County was dubbed, took shape in 1993. Much of the construction, which was conducted over seven phases, was privately funded by developers with the county footing the tab for most of the last three phases.
Delaware County Commissioner Merrell said, “It has taken a combination of public and private funding to build this road, and has provided us with a template for creative problem solving in the future. And this project has also proven to us that we need to control where our growth and development will occur.”
Following the ceremony, the Parkway was opened to the public. A MORPC travel-demand model estimates that daily traffic north of Hyatts Road will reach a volume of 25,000 vehicles per day by 2030.