The Franklin County Engineer's Office hopes to alleviate traffic issues on northbound Noe Bixby Road with a new project in Madison Township.
Township trustees voted unanimously Nov. 14 to authorize a contract to sell 0.146 acres to Franklin County for a total cost of $3,657.
The land will provide the county with a permanent right of way between Noe Bixby Road and Truro Cemetery, south of the Refugee-Chatterton intersection.
During high-traffic periods of the day, long lines of cars wait to clear the intersection, causing frustration for drivers and a safety issue for the heavy pedestrian traffic in the area, county spokesman Will Reed said.
"We're getting ready to do a project for the Refugee-Chatterton and Noe Bixby intersection which will include widening the road to include turn-only lanes as well as curbs, gutters, light and a sidewalk," he said.
That project, with an estimated cost of $5.5 million, is still in the design phase, according to Reed.
He said the cemetery property is approximately 2 acres and sits nearly 20 feet off the road, behind a fence.
"We're going to have to deal with a small hill on the property, so we plan to build a block wall about 10 feet in front of the fence with a 7-foot-wide sidewalk in front of that," Reed said. "That will give us room between the sidewalk and the curb. The nearest marked grave we can see is another 12 feet on the other side of the fence, so we shouldn't have any gravesites where we're working."
Trustee Victor Paini said he wanted the agreement to include language requiring the county to maintain the improvements instead of having those responsibilities fall back on Madison Township.
"I want to make sure that by purchasing this land, the county is on the hook for the sidewalk, curb and wall maintenance," Paini said.
Reed said Franklin County would handle all maintenance.
"In the past, we've made agreements with townships to take on that role, but we haven't considered setting up an agreement like that with you," Reed said.