(Dean C. Ringle, Franklin County engineer photo) Igel Co.’s dozer’s GPS antennae ensures accurate cut elevations.
Traffic snarls during road construction and reconstruction in a residential area can be every bit as daunting as travel delays caused during what seems to be the never-ending nationwide highway construction season. During the latter you most likely won’t receive a letter from the county engineer that begins with “Dear Neighbor” and includes a current detour map on the back, along with instructions regarding access to local business Sutherlands Lumber and Home Improvement Center.
The $7.9 million Clime Road Phase I project, currently under way, includes culvert replacement, “reconstruction and widening of the roadway to accommodate east and westbound lanes, a center turn lane, and two bike lanes. It is also getting construction of storm sewers, curbing, gutters, driveway aprons, sidewalks, and a water line, and installation of new street lighting and traffic signage,” as foretold in one such letter to the neighborhood from Dean C. Ringle, Franklin County engineer.
George J. Igel and Company, of Columbus Ohio, which celebrates its 100th year in business in 2010, is the contractor. The Franklin County Engineer’s Office is supervising the project.
Work began in January 2009 and is scheduled for completion in August 2010. Phase I includes the portion of Clime Road running from Harrisburg Pike (U.S. Rt. 62) to just east of Demorest Road. It began with the demolition of vacant homes near the railroad tracks. “We got a lot of complaints about them,” said Greg Payne, public information officer for the Franklin County Engineer’s Office.
Funding for Phase I “comes from the Federal Highway Administration and the Ohio Public Works Commission through the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission,” said Ringle.
According to its Web site, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, or MOR-PC: “Mission: The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) will be the regional voice and a catalyst for sustainability and economic prosperity in order to secure a competitive advantage for central Ohio. MORPC is the place where visions and ideas about our growing region are created, designed, discussed, and embraced. We are a voluntary association of local governments serving central Ohio. A catalyst for regional change, evidence of our work is seen everyday through planning, programming and public policy in the areas of economic development, energy, environment, housing, transportation and land use.”
Following the demolition of vacant homes the road was closed for 40 days while crews built a culvert over a tributary to Big Run, located east of Fall Brook Road. During the next 280 days crews kept a single eastbound lane open for local traffic only.
Reconstruction of the south side of Clime Road between Harrisburg Pike an Schilling Lane was closed at the railroad tracks while RailAmerica Inc. rebuilt its railroad crossing in accordance with the road project.
According to a local news source and identified only as Cook, “Living on the street, you’re not looking forward to the construction, but you’re looking forward to the end of it.”
Phase II of the Clime Road project will reconstruct the roadway from Demorest Road to Georgesville Road, including bridge replacement west of Clime Road North, and will go out for bid in early summer 2010. The “start date would be later this summer, after the first of July,” said Ringle.
Phase II also will include a center turn lane, two bike lanes, storm sewers, curbing, gutters, driveway aprons, sidewalks, new street lighting, traffic signage, and signals, according to a “Dear Neighbor” notice sent out by Ringle. Work on Phase II is scheduled for completion in fall 2012.
For more information about the Franklin County Engineer’s office, including a call for students interested in civil engineering: www.franklincountyengineer.org. For more information about MOR-PC: www.morpc.org/