Construction has begun on the first phase of a planned extension for Glenn Parkway south of Cheshire Road.
The first half of the two-part project will connect Glenn Parkway to U.S. Route 23, extending the road south of its intersection with OhioHealth Boulevard to meet Route 23 just north of Peachblow Road.
It is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2013 and cost about $1.5 million, according to Delaware city spokesman Lee Yoakum.
The second, $2.25 million phase of the project will extend Glenn Parkway about 2.1 miles directly north to join with Berlin Station Road, with a roundabout set to be installed at the connection -- but that portion of the project is years away. Yoakum said design and right-of-way acquisition will be completed by the end of 2014, with construction set to begin in 2015.
In coming years, officials hope the road connectors will help generate interest for new commercial, retail and professional development in the vicinity.
"This will take what were previously unconnected sections of the parkway and create a full-service connector between Berlin Station Road to the north and Route 23 to the south," Yoakum said.
"There's been a lot of interest in that area, so we're confident that when there's actually a way to get to that area from Glenn Parkway, it will be a further catalyst for interest and development."
Prior to the recession, the city had high hopes for development near that particular stretch of Route 23, which is home to the OhioHealth Delaware Health Center, as well as the Columbus State Community College's Delaware campus.
In 2005, the city was adding 600 new houses a year. With new development and forecasted increases in traffic, Delaware City Council identified a need to extend Glenn Parkway even further north to connect with Sunbury Road, including a bridge over the railroad tracks at Berlin Station Road.
"It would have been a much more ambitious parkway development that would have largely been development-driven," Yoakum said.
But after the economic downturn, development slowed and it became clear the lengthy extension wasn't needed.
A tax-increment financing district already was established in the area to generate revenue in anticipation of the original extension.
In TIF districts, certain property taxes are defrayed and used for infrastructure costs in the established area. Revenue from a TIF is generated from the increase in property value that occurs after it is established.
After the Glenn Parkway project was scaled back, officials decided to target the TIF funds for the extensions currently planned. Legally, TIF revenue must be used for new infrastructure in scope of the original language of the agreement.
Through 2011, it had generated $700,000 in tax revenue and is expected to provide nearly $10 million during the next decade.