SUNBURY — The Ohio Department of Transportation has released the results of its June meetings with the public, including its most frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the proposed Sunbury Parkway.
There were 200 attendees in person, and 77 participants in the virtual meetings. They got to see alternatives for an improved intersection at Interstate 71 and U.S. Route 36/state Route 37 and the parkway. More than 175 public comments were also received.
A newsletter issued on Dec. 1 has a map of the study area showing green and yellow lines representing the preferred alternative that both the public and ODOT support for the proposed Sunbury Parkway. The green line running west from Wilson to Africa roads was recommended in 2017 and confirmed by updated feasibility studies.
“This alternative meets the purpose and need for the project while having the fewest residential relocations and impacting the least number of properties,” ODOT said of the green alternative.
The yellow line running to the east of Wilson Road to West Cherry Street (US 36/SR 37) was selected “because it meets the purpose and need of the project, while avoiding increased flooding risks for properties and pole relocations on the Ohio Edison transmission line,” ODOT said.
There had been three alternatives for the eastern portion of the project, alignments in the north, central and southern. The southern alternative, colored yellow, was the cheapest option for construction and right-of-way acquisition at $80 million. However, it did have slightly more right-of-way (72.31 acres from 45 property owners) to acquire than the other alternatives.
Once built, Sunbury Parkway would be four lanes 2.4 miles in length, with a 50 MPH speed limit.
The newsletter has answered several FAQs on the project, including:
• Why build the interchange and why to the south?
• Can trucks be directed to the existing interchange?
• Will the project impact traffic in Sunbury?
• What about noise?
• What is the schedule for construction?
As for what’s next, ODOT said, “We plan to complete all environmental studies over the next few months. In early 2024, we will be asking the public to comment on the re-evaluation of the environmental document and the Recommended Preferred Alternative.”
Assistant Editor Gary Budzak covers the eastern half of Delaware County and surrounding areas. He may be reached at [email protected].