What strikes Chris Bauserman when he looks at a map of Delaware County is not the shaded areas that show where development has already occurred, but the white areas showing wide open land still available.

What strikes Chris Bauserman when he looks at a map of Delaware County is not the shaded areas that show where development has already occurred, but the white areas showing wide open land still available.

As the county's engineer, Bauserman is charged with making sure all the people moving to Delaware County have a way to get from one place to another, with as little inconvenience as possible.

His budget is funded through the county sales tax, which Bauserman expects to collect about $10-million in 2010.

Bauserman was the guest speaker at the Dec. 17 Delaware Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon. He gave an overview of county projects, those that are ongoing, those scheduled to begin in 2010 and those he hopes will come to fruition in the future.

He spent considerable time talking about Home Road, which Bauserman called "a critical east-west route."

When the county was developed, its north-south routes were well thought out, he said, but the east-west routes were not.

"We don't want to see the transportation system be an impediment to development," Bauserman said. "It's vitally important that planning continue on projects, even with the downturn in the economy, so we are ready when the economy recovers."

In 2010, two major projects will begin on Home Road.

The first is a railroad overpass, just east of Sawmill Parkway. Work will begin in the summer with completion expected in the fall. Traffic will be maintained during construction, he said.

The second project will align Liberty Road north of Home Road with Liberty Road south of Home Road. Work should begin in the spring with completion in summer 2011, he said.

Right-of-way acquisition for two other Home Road projects will begin in 2010, he said. One is intersection improvements at Home and Concord roads. The other is for intersection improvements at Home Road and South Section Line Road and state Route 257.

Improvements to the bridge on South Old 3-C Highway over the Hoover Reservoir will begin in May, he said. Utility relocation and construction also will begin for intersection improvements at state Route 3 and Freeman Road.

Right-of-way acquisition also will continue for land for the final leg of the Sawmill Parkway Extension, from Hyatts Road to U.S. Route 42, Bauserman said. Construction of that part of the project still requires approval of the county commissioners.

The county will "still have a seat at the table" as state officials and major developers work on a plan to improve the interchange at Interstate 71 and U.S. Route 36, he said. That work is critical to development in that area.

Another project that could begin in 2010 is the roundabout at state Route 315 and Orange Road.

Environmental studies are complete and the project needs commissioners' approval, he said.

Chamber and community members can play a vital role in road projects, Bauserman said. They can:
Identify projects of importance to them and the county. Get engaged and stay engaged. Stress the importance of projects to decision-makers. Participate in the public involvement process when they are in favor of a project, not just when they are against it.