Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Traffic jam irks Pickerington

Pickerington Tiger fans eager to see their team play in the Horseshoe Aug. 30 became stuck in a massive traffic jam that reduced Hill Road to a crawl.

The problem stemmed from a faulty timing sequence at the Tussing traffic light. It had malfunctioned all weekend, yet no crews arrived to repair it, City Manager Tim Hansley said.

The policy for ODOT is unless the light quits completely, on "Saturday and Sunday they refuse to work overtime," Hansley said. At 1 p.m. Sept. 1, ODOT fixed the control box.

Pickerington City Council members plan to file a formal complaint against the state agency for not addressing the problem sooner.

At press time, ODOT had not returned the city’s voicemail messages, Pickerington Staff Engineer Brenda VanCleave said.

The council’s service committee will also consider whether ODOT should continue to control the intersection or if Pickerington should assume authority.

In other business, the city is now accepting bids to replace the culvert under Hill Road just north of Meadows Boulevard near the new retirement community.

The project, estimated at $90,877, will begin once Diley Road has been completed in October, Service Manager Ed Drobina said. Hill Road will be closed between Meadows Boulevard and the Cherry Hill subdivision, VanCleave said.

The road should be closed three to four days, Hansley said.

The city hopes to be proactive and correct the problem before the next big rainstorm destroys the road, VanCleave said.

"We are not sure how long (the culvert) will last.  The road could be closed for as long as three months if it washes-out," VanCleave said.

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