Delaware County officials took multiple steps earlier this month to keep plans for a new roundabout east of Olentangy High School on track.
County commissioners March 5 voted unanimously to buy about 1 acre of right of way near the school from the Olentangy Local School District for just shy of $55,000. The county also agreed to buy a smaller amount of right of way adjacent to North Road from Orange Township residents Karen and Matthew Everly for about $15,500.
The county plans to widen both Lewis Center and North roads and construct a roundabout at the intersection, which sits about one-third of a mile east of the high school.
Commissioners on March 5 also approved a modification to the county's agreement with Westerville-based IBI Group for engineering work on the project.
Commissioners in January 2016 approved up to $516,805 in compensation for the firm for its work on the project. Earlier this month, they modified the contract to pay up to $566,805 to the company, according to county records.
Rob Riley, chief deputy engineer for the county, said the modification comes after the county requested additional design-related services from the firm.
"This would take us through final design and get us final plans for this project," he said.
The project will lead to the construction of a one-lane roundabout at the intersection of Lewis Center and North roads. Workers also will widen Lewis Center Road from the entrance of the high school east to the intersection to allow for the construction of a center turn lane.
The narrow, two-lane North Road will be widened to standard lane width in the project area.
The county's plans for the project also show the creation of a stub road at the south end of the roundabout that eventually could tie into Green Meadows Drive. Planned development projects southeast of Lewis Center Road's intersection with U.S. Route 23 could lead to the extension of Green Meadows Drive north from its terminus near Orangepoint Drive toward the roundabout.
Riley previously said the project is intended to address safety conditions near the intersection and address increased traffic from the construction of new homes in the area.
"This is responding to an existing problem, but also trying to get out ahead of the (residential) growth," Riley said of the roadway improvements.
County officials hope to wrap up the project, which is expected to cost close to $3.8 million, by fall 2019.