Westerville News & Public Opinion

Extension rolls from Polaris to County Line Road

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After nearly two years in development, the extension of Worthington Road between Polaris Parkway and County Line Road is in its final stages of construction.

Design and conception of the $6.3 million project took place in 2012 and 2013, and construction has been underway for most of 2014. Crews have cleared trees and demolished houses at the end of Taylor Way before beginning utility work.

Now, work has begun on sanitary sewer systems and the roadway's storm sewer, and work on the base for the new road will begin soon.

A new major roadway slowly is emerging from the previously vacant field, although most of the work remains out of sight to passing motorists.

"Once the underground utilities are in place, we'll start with the roadway base," construction manager Jake Preston said.

"In the next month and a half or so, we'll start with the aggregate base ... about the end of June, we'll start coming up with the roadway material."

The roadway will open up access to a large portion of land between Polaris and County Line, and will make way for both retail and residential development in the near future, including a 504-unit apartment complex over 54 acres, The Ravines at Westerville, being developed by property owner N.P. Limited and Trivium.

Near the center of the extension, a roundabout will be built -- Westerville's first -- tying into a stub road that will connect southwest to Old Worthington Road.

New retail development to serve the residents of the multi-family complex is planned to the north, along Polaris Parkway.

The city, through a tax-increment financing district, will cover the cost of the roadway construction, a bike path and a planned 8-acre park adjoining the apartment development.

Westerville Economic Development Administrator Jason Bechtold said the road will, "open up great opportunities for a mix of uses," and that it could pave the way for retail such as a grocery store or restaurants to go with the homes and other retail outlets.

With new businesses and residences popping up in the area, Preston said he is optimistic the new road will help to alleviate some of the traffic from surrounding roads.

"From a transportation standpoint, it provides connectivity between Polaris Parkway and County Line Road," he said. "I think all these improvements will eventually tie together well and work well together."

Bechtold said although traffic on the surrounding roads is certainly a concern, development of the Worthington Road extension largely is expected to give a boost to the area's economy.

"The roadway system will help obviously from a traffic and transportation need," he said, "but it will also be a great investment in the community creating these mix of uses that complement each other."

Preston said work has largely been uninterrupted, and there haven't been any notable challenges or snags in the process.

"It's kind of an open area, it's just open field really," he said.

"There's some relief up there, some topography up there with ravines that run through it, and that lends itself to some challenges, but nothing out of the ordinary."

Construction is still on schedule to finish before the end of the year, perhaps by November.

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