Delaware County Deputy Chief Engineer Rob Riley updated Liberty Township trustees and residents on the status of the roundabout project at the intersection of Liberty and Jewett roads, which is scheduled to start in the summer of 2018.
“We’ve awarded a contract on the job,” he said. “The total cost is around $1.2 million for the intersection.”
According to officials from the county engineer’s office, the contract was awarded to Strawser Paving of Columbus.
Riley said utility companies will start working this fall to relocate utilities to make room so the work could begin. He said construction is scheduled to start May or June depending on how quickly the utilities are moved.
“It will be about a three-month construction period,” he said. “The hope is that it would start immediately after school is out (for the summer) and be done when school resumes (in the fall).”
Riley addressed residents’ concerns about the traffic at the intersection of Jewett Road and State Route 315 once the construction starts and the Liberty and Jewett intersection closes for three months. Residents asked for some type of traffic control to maintain traffic safety.
“We certainly acknowledge and understand the concern about traffic once that intersection does close at Liberty Road,” Riley said. “That is something that we will discuss with the contractor. We also have to work with ODOT (Ohio Department of Transportation) on it. That’s not a county maintained intersection. We don’t have full discretion to operate that intersection manually, but we’ll talk to ODOT about that.”
Riley said other options could include a temporary traffic signal or a law enforcement officer to direct traffic. He said the officer directing traffic during peak hours would probably be the least expensive option.
Questions were raised about the status of the bike path that was to be part of the roundabout. He said the engineer’s office would do all the “necessary approach work for the road.” The estimate to make the connection from the roundabout to Derby Drive is $371,000.
“We are constructing the paths at the intersection,” he said. “The curve ramps, pass-through, the split islands as well as the paths immediately around the roundabout will be built as part of the roundabout. Also along Liberty Road, from the north to the south, we are making that connection.”
Riley said the path along Jewett Road would be a larger project and the responsibility of completing the path would fall to the township. He said the road is under the township’s jurisdiction.
“We’re more than happy to help you with that anyway we can,” he said. “I think we’re making that as easy as we can to build that in the future.”
Riley was also asked about a potential roundabout at the intersection of State Route 315 and Jewett Road.
“We’ve had an open discussion with ODOT about the desire to see something done there,” he said. “There have been no decisions on what that improvement would look like, who would undertake it, and when it would be done.”
Riley said a roundabout was one of the possible options, but there had been a number of options proposed by ODOT.
“At this time I’m not aware of ODOT planning to actually undertake any of those improvements,” he said. “As your county engineer, we are certainly here to support you in any way we can. I think there has been some misrepresentation of our role in the process.”
Riley said if ODOT decided to undertake the project, it would take three to four years to develop before starting construction. He said there have only been conceptual plans made for cost estimates, but no plans to make improvements to the intersection at the moment.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.