The intersection of State Route 315, U.S. 23 and Stratford Road is expected to be realigned next year, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation and the city of Delaware.
However, litigation by Turkey Hill may change those plans.
Currently, two sets of stop lights are placed closely together along U.S. 23 at both 315 and Stratford. Studies have stated the crash rate is more than twice the statewide average for this type of intersection. Since 2008, the city and ODOT have studied alternatives to make the area safer without widening the existing roads.
“The project, as it is currently designed, will realign Stratford Road to ‘T’ with U.S. 23, create a new connector road between U.S. 23 and Stratford Road, and add an intersection one-quarter mile north of the current 23/Stratford Road intersection,” said ODOT spokeswoman Nancy Burton in an email. “The two, three-legged intersections will operate more efficiently with two effectively spaced and coordinated signals. An un-signalized SB left turn from U.S. 23 to Stratford Road will be permitted.”
The project, funded by ODOT, totals $3.5 million, Burton wrote.
The city has managed the design, said community affairs coordinator Lee Yoakum, in an email.
“ODOT is part way through right-of-way acquisition, which is expected to complete this fall,” Yoakum wrote. “Private utility relocations are already underway, so there is some activity on the site. Construction is to commence in spring 2016, wrapping up in fall 2016.”
At a past open house regarding the project, some area residents and the Turkey Hill gas station/convenience store at 2740 Stratford Road opposed the realignment. Turkey Hill filed suit against the city in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, claiming false representation in the design that was ultimately chosen.
“The city and ODOT were responding to a long-term goal of realigning,” stated the magistrate’s decision on Jan. 27. “This process was protracted, evolving and fluid over the course of nearly 10 years. However, the hearing testimony did not demonstrate clear and convincing evidence that there was a conspiracy to defraud Turkey Hill of its interests by falsely promising a certain configuration, so as to induce the granting of a right of way on its land.”
Neither ODOT nor the city would comment further on the project due to ongoing litigation.