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Road construction may decrease response time
Fire Chief Richard Howard said once Clime Road closes during phase one of the upcoming construction, residents may experience a delay in emergency response.
At the Jan. 22 Franklin Township Trustee meeting, Howard said he will not know how much of a delay residents can expect until the road closures actually take place since any delays will depend on the amount of traffic his firefighters encounter.
Phase one of the Clime Road construction will shut down Clime from Harrisburg Pike to just east of Demorest Road for 40 days.
Howard said he is still discussing options with David McMannis, traffic safety analyst at the Franklin County Engineer’s office.
“The biggest concern I have is when phase one opens back up, they’re making Clime Road from Demorest to Harrisburg Pike a one-way road eastbound and McMannis couldn’t for sure tell me if we could skinny up going westbound with emergency equipment and have enough space for people to get out of our way,” said Chief Howard.
Howard said he’s been informed the phase one closure was supposed to happen Feb. 1 but that date was moved to Feb. 16 due to weather conditions and the preparations required.
Michael Meeks, director of traffic engineering, said he was confident an arrangement with the township fire department would happen.
At this point, Meeks said the department is discussing letting emergency vehicles use what the county calls the “buffer zone,” typically for contractors’ use, to get through when traffic is tied up.
“The fire folks will very often drive the decision, so there’s a lot of communication,” said Meeks.
Howard said the township fire department works with the city of Columbus and surrounding fire departments so they can assist with a run on behalf of the township if response time is compromised.
“If we have a situation where the roads are closed off, they’ll call a station in my area in their place, they’ll adjust the company response,” said Howard. “Anytime you close the road, it’s not like you’ll be driving without interference; there’ll be some interference, but we’re not sure how much yet.”
In other township news, Road Maintenance and Building Supervisor Jim Stevens, reported the pipes froze in the Township Hall at Fire Station 193.
Stevens said on Jan. 16, a back window blew open in the boiler room about five inches, which caused the water lines to freeze up. Stevens said the crew had to shut off the main water valve in the firehouse but when they needed to turn it back on, it broke.
The city of Columbus was called in for assistance.
“When it came time to open the valve back up, the valve was faulty. It wouldn’t open up all the way. Which in turn only let the township building have a quarter of the water pressure we normally would have,” said Stevens. “When they came in yesterday, they had to shut down Frank Road’s water supply so we could have enough time to replace one valve.”
Chairman Tim Guyton did not know how many residences might have been affected by the shut down but he said the township waited until after school let out to coordinate the temporary closure.
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