The unveiling of concrete plans for the extension of Home Road in Delaware County means a pair of connecting roads in Orange Township will be getting extensions as well.
Delaware County announced an agreement March 19 with Schottenstein Real Estate Group for a 300-acre development project off U.S. Route 23 that would result in the extension of Home Road to the east.
The plan also calls for extensions of Graphics Way and Green Meadows Drive, which will connect to the new portion of Home Road and act as alternatives to Route 23.
Graphics Way is broken into two pieces to the east of Route 23. One sits between North Central Drive and another, to the north, runs between Halfway Avenue and Slate Ridge Drive.
Green Meadows Drive runs from East Powell Road to Orange Pointe Drive, where it dead ends.
Now, the Home Road extension will serve as the impetus for the expansion of those roads.
Delaware County Engineer Chris Bauserman said that of the $9.8 million set aside for the Home Road extension, about $1.5 million will be spent on extending both Graphics Way and Green Meadows Drive to meet with the new stretch of Home Road.
With Graphics Way in particular, Bauserman said the county understands adding more north-south roads as alternatives for Route 23 can be helpful.
"From the county's standpoint, (Graphics Way) has some economic-development benefit and has the benefit of providing a parallel road network to (Route) 23 that would keep local trips along 23 from one site to another off of 23 because we know it's a very congested route," he said.
He said the northern section of Graphics Way is part of the Home Road project, and plans do not exist to join the two portions of the street.
That portion of the work, he said, will be done by a developer who chooses to extend the roads.
He said the county's focus "certainly" has been on allowing developers to connect infrastructure if they'd like, rather than having public funding do it for them.
"The whole parallel road network along 23 there basically serves the purpose of opening that up for development," he said. "It certainly doesn't have as much transportation need as an economic-development need. ... The county hasn't generally been in the position or wanted to be in position of basically building roads ahead of developments. We prefer developers pay for their fair share of those improvements."
Bauserman said construction is expected to begin this year and finish in 2020.