Blue Horseshoe Ventures detailed a number of specifics June 28 when it announced ambitious plans for its Planet Oasis entertainment-based development near the Interstate 71 and U.S. Route 36/state Route 37 interchange.

Those details included a $2 billion investment covering 350 acres and a projected work force of 15,000 -- all adjacent to the Tanger Outlet Mall on the east side of I-71, in Berkshire Township.

Yet to be determined are the effects such a large business would have on traffic and roads in the immediate vicinity.

Predicting those answers will be the goal of a traffic-impact study required by the Ohio Department of Transportation.

ODOT District 6 spokesperson Nancy Burton on July 13 said one meeting has been held with Planet Oasis representatives to discuss the focus of the traffic study "to understand how vehicles will move through the area."

She characterized the traffic study as a thorough examination, noting the traffic study for the much smaller Tanger Outlet Mall was "pages and pages long."

The study also has financial implications.

In addition to the nearby interchange of I-71 and Routes 36/37, ODOT plans a second exit about 4,000 feet to the south.

That exit is described as Phase A on an online ODOT document outlining the plan.

That document was prepared before Planet Oasis was announced and lists financial contributions of $10 million from "Columbus Outlets" (Simon Tanger Future Transportation Commitments) and $26.3 million from "Developer" (Northgate Land), both linked to existing commercial operations in the area.

Burton said "everybody will be required" to provide financial support if significantly increased traffic is drawn to the two exits.

"The traffic-impact study is the first step to determine how much new traffic will be generated and the scale of improvements necessary," she said.

Asked how much Planet Oasis might have to pay, she said, "We'll cross that bridge when we get the traffic-impact study."

Delaware County engineer Chris Bauserman has said his office would join ODOT in evaluating the study, which will be prepared by the developer.

Initial construction of the second I-71 exit is expected to begin as early as spring 2019, Burton said.

Delaware County economic-development director Bob Lamb has said that in addition to ODOT and the county engineer, the Delaware County Regional Planning Commission might review Planet Oasis plans.

Blue Horseshoe Ventures predicted work on Planet Oasis might start in December.

Lamb said that start date is a possibility if Blue Horseshoe Ventures is prepared to meet the requirements of the traffic-study approval process "quickly and efficiently."

Berkshire Township Trustee Bill Holtry has said Planet Oasis officials understand both I-71 exits "would have to be involved in the evolution of this project."

"It's estimated it will take three to four years to build the (entire) project, including exit improvements," he said.

He also said the Planet Oasis site requires no rezoning.

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