Pickerington Times-Sun

City finalizes pact with ODOT for projects

By MICHAEL HAYES
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Pickerington City Council unanimously approved legislation June 4 that will allow two major road projects to move forward to their next respective phases of development.

City Council gave the go-ahead to the Ohio Department of Transportation to complete improvements to state Route 256 from Interstate 70 to the Kroger/Giant Eagle signal, otherwise known as the "SR 256 Safety Project."

Council also officially authorized ODOT to fix the city's difficult intersection at Center Street, Milnor Road and Meadows Boulevard.

"The legislation formalizes the role ODOT will play in the projects, allowing them to administer the design and construction," said Pickerington City Engineer Scott Tourville.

"The city of Pickerington staff will continue to work closely with all project stakeholders, including residents, to ensure the success of the projects," he said.

The SR 256 Safety Project is expected to cost $6.8 million, with $6 million in funding provided by ODOT.

That project will be a major overhaul of the city's busiest corridor in terms of traffic congestion.

City officials have estimated 40,000 vehicles traverse Route 256, also known as Hill Road, on daily basis. The project is expected to increase the road's capacity and improve safety.

According to ODOT, the improvements will include using the existing pavement width to allow for three southbound lanes on Route 256, additional turn lanes, median installations, signal hardware improvements and portions of sidewalk to close the gaps on one side of the street.

"For the S.R. 256 project, design work will continue with construction anticipated in 2015," Tourville said.

The Center Street at Milnor/ Meadows Intersection will be primarily funded by both ODOT and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission.

The estimated project cost is $760,000. ODOT/MORPC combined funding for the project is 80 percent for right-of-way acquisition and construction.

The intersection is described by city officials as a "K-type" intersection because the Milnor and Meadows side roadways come in from one side of Center Street, making the road arrangement appear like a "K."

Due to its awkward configuration, the intersection has long created confusion with motorists and has led to ongoing safety concerns.

Two options have been designed by Newark, Ohio-based Jobes Henderson and Associates, an engineering consulting firm, to realign the intersection.

Alternative "A" would separate Milnor Road and Meadows Boulevard to make two "T" intersections with Center Street.

Alternate "B" would terminate Meadows Boulevard as a cul-de-sac, making Milnor Road a "T" intersection with Center Street.

Area residents will get the opportunity to provide input as to which option is preferable at a future public hearing.

"The public hearing will be later this summer," Tourville said. "We anticipate announcing the date and location within the next month or two."

He said detailed design work for that project will begin after the public hearing, with construction also scheduled for 2015.

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