The stretch of state Route 315 between Powell and Home roads will be closed for 21 days for construction, to begin on an as-yet-unspecified date, but likely within the next month.
The Ohio Department of Transportation is closing the 2.7-mile stretch of road for the replacement of an aging box culvert, a concrete structure that allows water to flow under the roadway at Lick Run.
Liberty Township Administrator Dave Anderson said the starting date for the project has not yet been determined, but at the Monday, Oct. 15, meeting of the township board of trustees, he said it's possible it could begin "within the next two weeks."
The posted northbound detour will direct traffic east onto U.S. Route 750, then north onto U.S. Route 23. The posted southbound detour will direct traffic to stay on Route 23 where the road meets Route 315 just north of Bunty Station Road.
Local traffic is free to travel along the portions of the roadway not closed for construction, including the stretch of state Route 315 north of Home Road.
Combined northbound and southbound traffic through the construction corridor totals about 5,800 vehicles each day, according to a report from the Ohio Department of Transportation.
A letter from ODOT Transportation Engineer Anthony Turowski states an alternate plan to keep the roadway open during construction was considered but rejected.
"The results of the comparison found it to be most cost- and time-effective to utilize the detour option," the letter states.
At their Oct. 15 meeting, township trustees approved an agreement for ODOT for reimbursement for any wear and tear on local roads sustained during the construction period due to detour traffic, including road resurfacing.
Also at the meeting, the trustees approved the resignation of firefighter Patrick Welty due to injury. He served the township for 22 years.
"He was one of the early, original career firefighter-paramedics for our department," said Fire Chief Tim Jensen. "We benefited greatly from his teaching and experience."
Jensen said the fire department often turned to Welty to evaluate the need for vehicle repairs due to his prior experience as a diesel mechanic, saving money in the process.
Welty is the fifth firefighter the department has lost since August, including one who retired and three others who left for other employment.
Also at this week's meeting, trustees tabled a resolution to enter into a cost-sharing agreement with the Woodland Hall Home Owners Association to help build a split-rail fence to indicate property lines between the subdivision and Liberty Park.
Residents have said it's in their best interests and will benefit park visitors as well, and agreed to maintain the fence if it is built.
The resolution was tabled until the next meeting because additional legal review of the agreement is needed, trustees said.