By Rick Palsgrove
School’s out and orange barrels are in along South Hamilton Road.
While Groveport Madison High School students are away on their summer break, work is ongoing to modernize the intersection of Firehouse Lane and South Hamilton Road (also known as State Route 317), which is the entry point into the high school grounds.
According to Groveport City Engineer Steve Farst, the project includes upgrades to the traffic signals and turn lanes at the intersection.
“The existing equipment will be removed,” said Farst. “The new traffic signal equipment will include support poles and mast arms, new signal heads, pedestrian call buttons and signals for a new crosswalk. A new southbound right turn lane on South Hamilton Road, into the high school campus is being constructed with this project. The turn lane will be about 575 feet long.”
Farst said a school zone flashing assembly is also being installed on South Hamilton Road to establish a school zone speed limit of 20 mph during restricted hours.
Groveport Madison Schools requested the 20 mph school zone and Groveport City Council is considering legislation to enact it. The school zone would be on South Hamilton Road within the area where the Groveport Madison High School property line boundaries intersect the road and extending 300 feet in each approach direction.
Farst said the total project budget for the intersection upgrades, established in 2017, is $575,999.
“This an Ohio Public Works Commission funded project,” said Farst. “The construction contract with Shelly and Sands is for $502,313.”
Farst said the project funding breaks down this way: OPWC grant, $316,223; OPWC loan, $120,176, to be paid by the city of Groveport; collaborative contribution from Groveport Madison Schools and Ohio Facilities Construction Committee, $62,000 (for investment of “site access safety” improvements); Madison Township, $20,000 (related to traffic signal equipment); and local funds (above the loan), city of Groveport, $57,600.
“This upgrade is needed for several reasons,” said Farst. “New signal equipment with modern technology is desired including GPS pre-emption for emergency services, the existing signal equipment is due for replacement, the turn lane will improve operating level of the intersection due to heavy traffic flow into and out of the school campus, and a pedestrian crosswalk is desired.”
Additionally, the COTA bus stop at this intersection is also being upgraded.
“The project design was coordinated with COTA,” said Farst. “COTA desired the bus stops (northbound and southbound stops) that are currently on the north side of the intersection be relocated and placed at a point south of the intersection. This is being arranged, with a sidewalk leading to concrete pads on both sides of South Hamilton Road. The sidewalk from these pads will extend to the intersection and be connected to a sidewalk leading into the high school campus.”
Farst said paving of the turn lane began July 1 and will continue for a couple weeks. He said the turn lane will remain closed until final paving is complete, pavement striping is established, and until after the signals are operational.
“Construction is expected to be substantially complete with the new signal in operation before school opens in August,” said Farst.