The Sawmill Parkway construction project is still on pace to open by October 2016, according to Rob Riley from the Delaware County Engineer’s Office.
“Thanks to the weather we’ve had since July, someone turned off the spigot and we finally got some weather to work in,” he said. “We have about 75 percent of the project done. We have some paving done south of Bean-Oller Road. The majority of the actual pavement work itself is done. All the storm sewer work is done south of Bunty Station Road. We’re progressing, generally, from south to north. Hopefully, we’ll continue working up until the weather doesn’t allow us to do that anymore.”
Riley, the county’s chief deputy engineer, told county commissioners on Monday that all new segments of the roadway — from Hyatts Road in Liberty Township to U.S. 42 in the city of Delaware — will be opened at the same time to avoid causing traffic issues for local motorists.
“Because there’s no logical crossroad to dump all that traffic on, for lack of a better term, our plan has been to get the road all the way to (U.S.) 42 before we open it,” he explained. “Generally we’re very pleased. It’s remarkable to see 10 years’ worth of work finally get done.”
Riley said the work in 2016 will concentrate on the area of Sawmill Parkway near U.S. 42 as well as the four roundabouts that will be located along the route between Hyatts Road and Bunty Station Road. The roundabouts will be located at Clark Shaw Road, Bean-Oller Road, Ford Road and Bunty Station Road. A new traffic signal will be installed at the junction of Sawmill and U.S. 42.
“We’ll be phasing construction of (the roundabouts) so that no one is blocked in and can’t get to where they need to go,” he said.
When asked by Commission President Gary Merrell about some activity on the night of Nov. 3 along Sawmill Parkway, Riley noted that the nighttime work was due to availability of asphalt.
“That was some paving work we were doing,” Riley explained. “This time of year it’s actually difficult to get asphalt, because, generally, everyone wants to pave and get their stuff done before the snow starts flying. We allowed the contractor to do some night paving in the middle of last week because they had some crews available for night work. When you’re competing with big highway jobs, it’s tough to get the crews and get the materials. But that won’t continue. That’s actually the end of the night work.”
When completed, Sawmill Parkway will be a 5.5-mile long stretch of four-lane, divided highway running from Hyatts Road in Liberty Township to Section Line Road just west of the city of Delaware. The stretch of roadway from U.S. 42 to Section Line Road will be the final phase of the project.
Also during Monday’s meeting, commissioners approved the owner’s agreement between the county and Pulte Homes of Ohio LLC for the Liberty Trace Section 1 project in Liberty Township. The owner’s agreement covers the construction of a public street and storm water improvements in the subdivision that will feature 38 single-family lots.
Related to the Liberty Trace project, commissioners also approved an owner’s agreement for the widening of Liberty Road and installation of a traffic signal at the junction of Liberty Road and Home Road.
“This agreement covers improvements that the developer will be making to provide turn lanes on Liberty Road at the entrance to the development as well as modifications to the existing traffic signal at Home and Liberty (roads) associated with that development,” Riley told commissioners.
Riley said the two entrances to the subdivision from Liberty Road north of Home Road warrant the creation of left-turn lanes in each direction.
Commissioners also approved an owner’s agreement with Metro Development for the purpose of widening North Road in the vicinity of the North Farms subdivision near Lewis Center. Metro Development intends to widen a portion of North Road, south of Shanahan Road, near the entrance to North Farms, Riley said. He also told commissioners that Metro Development plans to improve ditches along the road to make the roadway safer.
Commissioners also approved a real estate acquisition services agreement with Dunrobin Associates LLC of Cold Spring, Kentucky, related to the Sunbury Road project that the county is pursuing jointly with the city of Westerville.
“This involves widening Sunbury Road between County Line Road and Maxtown Road,” Riley said. The stretch of road is about one mile long.
According to Riley, the total cost of the project is about $7 million. He said 80 percent of the funding for the project will come through the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission. Delaware County and the city of Westerville will split the final 20 percent of the project’s cost.
Andrew Carter can be reached at 740-413-0902 and on Twitter @AndrewCarterDG.