According to Delaware County Chief Deputy Engineer Rob Riley, plans are underway to span the Norfolk Southern and CSX railroad tracks at Home, Cheshire and Orange roads.
“We’ll have several railroad grade separation projects under design for the next few years,” Riley told commissioners during their Nov. 19 session. “We currently have the Home Road extension project. We’ve done the preliminary design and will enter into final design next year.”
Commissioners approved a contract with HDR Engineering of Columbus for the final design and construction of the Home Road extension east of U.S. Route 23, one of the busiest highways in Delaware County, to create an intersection with Green Meadows Drive.
“Pending all the ODOT (Ohio Department of Transportation) approvals that would be necessary on U.S. 23, we would hope to be under construction next fall with the road potentially opening in the summer of 2020,” Riley told commissioners on July 2.
As for the railroad tracks that cross both Cheshire and Orange roads, Riley said both roads are very important east-west connectors for the southern half of the county.
“They span multiple townships,” he said. “I would anticipate bringing you a design contract or at least a preliminary engineering contract for Orange Road (railroad underpass project) late sometime next year.”
The engineer’s office estimates construction for Orange Road railroad underpass will run $15 million.
Riley said the magnitude of the Orange Road project is much larger than any other type of project in the county. He said it would be better to go under the tracks, “because the tracks do sit up higher than at the other crossings.”
“Because there is so much traffic on Orange Road, it would require a wider structure,” to go over the railroad, he said. “It’s more expensive to go under, but … we’d have a tremendous amount of impact to the adjacent properties.”
Riley said the engineer’s office would seek federal funding for the project with Orange Township and the county splitting the remaining costs.
Riley said the construction of the bridge over the tracks on Cheshire Road was a new project estimated to cost $10 million. He recommended approving a $462,957 contract with Carpenter Marty Transportation, Inc. of Columbus for the preliminary design of the project to commissioners.
“They do excellent work,” he said. “We’re very confident they will do the same on this project.”
Riley noted to commissioners that the contract was only for preliminary design and did not go all the way through final engineering, because the engineer’s office still had to do a “considerable amount of coordination with Norfolk Southern and CSX.”
“We basically have to get their buy-in on the design of the project before we move ahead with the final engineering plans,” he said. “We would expect that once we get through the preliminary design and railroad approvals, we’ll come back to (the board) with a final design contract.”
He said construction for the Cheshire bridge project and Orange Road underpass project would both begin sometime around 2024 or 2025.
Commissioners on Nov. 19 approved the contract with Carpenter Marty Transportation, Inc. for the Cheshire bridge project.
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.