The Delaware County Board of Commissioners, during its Nov. 19 session, approved several road improvement projects planned by the county engineer’s office for 2019.
Rob Riley, chief deputy engineer, explained the widening of Home Road at the intersection of state Route 315, and he requested the commissioners’ permission to put the project out for bids.
“This is yet another very big project — the intersection of Home Road and (state Route) 315,” Riley said. “If you’ve driven through that at peak hours, it backs up quite a bit in each direction.”
Riley said the project has been in the works for over six years. He said the widening would add extra lanes in both directions on Home Road and a traffic light.
“Because of the way that intersection is aligned, we’ll have to rebuild the west leg of the intersection,” he said. “However, we were fortunate when the subdivision to the west was built because they dedicated right-of-way to accommodate the future road.”
Riley said the project is estimated at $8.5 million, and the engineer’s office hopes to begin construction later this winter around February or March. He said the work will begin with widening the bridge on Home Road that spans the Olentangy River.
“We’ll have to rebuild the existing bridge to widen it,” he said. “We will have to close the road (east of the intersection at the bridge) for five to six months during construction of the bridge. The west leg (of Home Road) and (state Route) 315 will remain open during that time frame, but not as bad as closing the whole intersection. Unfortunately, there’s just no way to do what we need to do while maintaining traffic.”
Riley said the engineer’s office realizes that it will be difficult for the residents in the area, but he thinks improvements will have a terrific impact on the area. He said the work for the intersection will be completed sometime in October 2019.
Commissioners approved putting the project out to bid until 10 a.m. on Dec. 18.
Worthington and Freeman roads
“This is a proposed upgrade of the intersection of Worthington and Freeman roads (Westerville) that would add a traffic signal and realign Freeman Road to the intersection so that it’s more of a 90-degree intersection,” Riley said. “The low bid was from Shelly and Sands, Inc. at a price that was about 9 percent under the engineer’s estimate.”
Riley said the engineer’s estimate for the project was for $812,000, and the work would be done in 2019.
According to the contract, the bid from Shelly and Sands Inc. was $738,944.
“We’ll start work late next spring,” he said. “Most of the work will be over the summer when school is out.”
Riley told commissioners that Freeman Road would need to be closed for about six weeks during construction, but he asked commissioners not to hold him to the time frame.
“For the most part, the other roads will remain open, and we’ll flag traffic around,” he said. “Construction should be wrapped up by August or September with the signal up and running.”
Riley added the county engineer’s office has worked with Shelly and Sands Inc. on many county projects and recommended approving the contract.
Commissioners awarded the bid and approved the contract with the company for the road improvements for the Worthington Road/Freeman Road intersection.
Galena Road widening
Riley told commissioners there was an initial agreement with the developers of North Star to widen Wilson Road from three lanes to five lanes just west of Galena Road once it was needed.
“That work will not be needed for quite a long time,” he said. “The three-lane section will function adequately for sometime.”
Riley said in lieu of holding the developer to widening the road in the future, they will put $643,000 toward the county’s local share of the Ohio Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) improvements of the intersection of Galena Road and U.S. 36/state Route 37.
“We think it’s the best use of the money when we need it, which is very soon,” he said. “ODOT’s initial scope was adding turn lanes on U.S. 36/state Route 37,” he said. “The $643,000 will be applied to adding turns on Galena Road. ODOT made it clear up-front that they don’t have the money and no intention of building the turn lanes of Galena Road. We asked them to let us back up and find some money for that and get this done all at once.”
Commissioners approved the agreement and applying the money to the project.
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.