Union County Engineer's Office officials plan to talk with FedEx representatives later this month about providing funding for roadway improvements deemed necessary should the company open a facility in the township, according to Bill Narducci, assistant county engineer.

But it all might be moot pending the outcome of a court filing.

The truck transportation facility (expandable to 530,000 square feet) would be built on 100.66 acres on Industrial Parkway north of the Estates Parkway intersection.

A traffic impact study by project developer 42 Real Estate LLC assessed how the project would affect not only the road network when the site would open in 2019 but the future road network in 2029.

The study showed roads would become overwhelmed by both traffic from the FedEx site but also from area growth, Narducci said.

Included in the study was the Industrial Parkway corridor from U.S. Route 33 to the proposed FedEx site, and U.S. Route 42 and state Route 161 from Route 33 to the site, Narducci said.

The major concern the engineer's office had with the study, Narducci said, was the developer assumed some traffic improvements slated to happen by 2029 would be funded by other entities, such as the Ohio Department of Transportation, Union County and the city of Dublin.

Examples of projects included in the study, Narducci said are adding lanes on state Route 161 connecting to Route 33 and expanding the roundabout at Route 161 and Industrial Parkway.

"There needs to be a funding source for those," he said.

Although the engineer's office doesn't expect FedEx to fund all the necessary roadway upgrades, the company should fund a portion of the work, Narducci said.

Industrial Parkway has as many as approximately 9,000 vehicles traveling on it per day, Narducci said.

The traffic study shows that 5,608 vehicles would be added to that daily total from the FedEx site -- a 60- to 70-percent increase.

According to an infrastructure cost assignments document drafted July 13 by the Union County Engineer's office, the office proposed that FedEx pay $7,583,637 for road improvements needed when the site opens in 2019 and $3,156,800 for improvements needed over the next 30 years.

Future corridor needs, from the FedEx site to state Route 161 and from the FedEx site to U.S. Route 42, total $23,436,000, according to the document.

Whereas the project already received township approval -- Jerome Township's Board of Zoning Appeals approved a variance and conditional-use permit for the project Feb. 21, said township zoning officer Mark Spagnuolo -- it is now the subject of an administrative appeal in the Union County Court of Common Pleas.

But Narducci said the engineer's office is working through the traffic impact study now in the event that the project moves forward.

According to court docket files obtained online, the appeal was made March 23 by Jerome Township residents Barry Adler and Jenifer and Terrence Wynne. They seek to stop the project from progressing.

Adler owns organic food company RainFresh Harvests, 9559 Industrial Parkway, while the Wynnes are about 2,500 feet away from the proposed FedEx site.

According to court files, the Wynnes, Adler and RainFresh said they "are directly affected and uniquely harmed as a result of the BZA's decision to grant the conditional use and variance."

Laura Comek, representing 42 Real Estate LLC, had not yet prepared a statement by late Monday evening.

David Westrick, with FedEx Ground Media Relations, said while the proposed site is still under consideration, further details will not be made available until all approvals have been secured.

Jennifer Huber, representing the township in the appeal case, said she could not comment because of pending litigation.

Melissa Marino, representing the Wynnes, Adler and RainFresh in the appeal case declined to comment.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah