Another warehouse planned, residents concerned about traffic issues


By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

Another large warehouse could soon be built in Groveport.

Becknell Industrial of Lyons, Ill., a national industrial warehouse developer, has applied to rezone approximately 21.4 acres  at 5770 Saltzgaber Road (located on the southeast corner of Groveport and Saltzgaber roads) from rural to planned industrial park.

The company is proposing to construct a  310,000 square foot warehouse on the site. The plans indicate the warehouse would have two access points on Saltzgaber Road. The company is proposing to widen Saltzgaber Road by about 13 feet on the east side of the road along the parcel to help with the increased traffic flow.

However, Groveport’s planning and zoning commission postponed making a recommendation to Groveport City Council about the rezoning request and final development plan for the project until Oct. 5 as it awaits the results and evaluation of a traffic study of the surrounding roads.
Various stretches of those roads – Saltzgaber, Toy and Swisher – fall within the different jurisdictions of the city of Groveport, the village of Obetz, and Madison Township.

“The traffic issue and the condition of the roads are significant components of the project,” said Groveport City Engineer Steve Farst. “The decision to recommend should be postponed until conversations can be made about possible improvements.”

Farst said Saltzgaber Road is not in condition to bear the weight of semi-trucks  and that any future road redesign must meet city and county standards.

Groveport City Administrator Marsha Hall said officials from Groveport, Madison Township, Obetz, Franklin County and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) have been meeting to discuss the roadways in the area.

“MORPC has offered to perform a review of the entire area this fall,” said Hall. “It’s important we have all the answers before making a recommendation.”

This latest warehouse proposal has rankled residents living in the Saltzgaber, Toy and Swisher roads area who say they have been plagued for years by large amounts of semi-truck traffic and employee traffic going to and from the area warehouses on the narrow country roads. The residents say the traffic damages private property and the roads and that some drivers speed, which causes a safety hazard.

“Now they want to widen Saltzgaber Road and have entrances to a new warehouse to and from off Saltzgaber creating another nightmare for those who live here,” said Toy Road resident Linda Haley in an email to the Southeast Messenger. “This is becoming a nightmare again, not that it hasn’t been one for the last two years. Someone even hit our phone pole in our yard last week splitting it and then drove off leaving parts of their car and glass in the yard behind. Amazing, they just don’t care about other people’s property. It’s all about money.”

Toy Road resident Laurie Lyles said, “Warehouses went up and the traffic problems started in our once quiet and safe neighborhood. Since then the semi-trucks, along with the warehouse employee traffic, has increased. It’s six years later and no solution. There are always more meetings or more studies to be done.”

Hall said the Groveport Police have stepped up their presence in the area to help deter traffic problems. She said the city has also installed “No Trucks” signs on the roads within the city limits that are larger than normal and are also bilingual.

Madison Township Administrator Susan Brobst said the Madison Township Police have increased patrols in the area. She said the township has also worked with Obetz to install “No Left Turn for Trucks” signs to keep trucks from going east on Toy Road. Additionally, the township provided the area warehouses with informative postcards and posters to help educate drivers using the area’s roads.

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  1. More traffic, more trash, more noise is all we’re going to get from this, just like what we got with the rest of the warehouse developments. The village council, and I use that term because they definitely don’t qualify as a city except in population only, doesn’t care about the increase in traffic, noise or trash because none of them live near here or travel this direction, out of sight out of mind out of touch and out of time. Increased patrols says Ms. Brobst and Ms Hall, don’t think so. I live here on Toy, unfortunately I have been unemployed for the past month and a half and haven’t seen any increased patrols. Makes a nice sound-bite and nice statement for the record but the truth is I just don’t believe its happening. Only people traveling up and down our road, with ever increasing frequency, is the Madison Township Fire Department and I’m sure they love the intersection of Toy and Swisher with the large hump that I’m sure is fun to navigate at high speeds. Groveport isn’t prepared to do the right thing for the residents or the real taxpayers, the people driving to and from these warehouses that Groveport is scalping money from and giving them absolutely nothing in return. At least Obetz rebuilt their part of Toy Road when they developed. I saw the construction companies engineering report on the road, it meets no definition of the term road. I saw the cross section of the road when they rebuilt it because my house is the last one in the rebuilt area. about two inches of gravel about 4 inches down and layers upon layers of tar and chip on top of that. The funny thing is that the construction company said that if they would have been allowed to complete Toy Road all the way to Saltzgaber they could have done it cheaper than what they paid for the rebuild in the Obetz section because they would have gotten another price break for the volume of base materials and asphalt needed, according to the gentleman in charge. Bottom line is the village doesn’t care because none of them live or drive out here and view us as pains in the backside for complaining about it. Their position is you get what you get and don’t throw a fit. Increased signage doesn’t work simply because most of the truck drivers don’t read. After one of them broke down in front of my house I stopped and asked him if he could read because he drove by the sign that said “No Trucks, No Caminos”? He promptly told me to f*** off, however he did get in his truck and manage to back it up BEHIND the sign. Toy Road and Swisher are not safe for the amount of traffic that is already on them let alone adding more vehicles to the mix. One day their is going to be a horrific incident, it’s not a matter of If but a function of When.


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