By Andrea Cordle
Grove City Council approved funding for road work on Gantz Road though a few council members were concerned about a planned roundabout.
At the June 6 meeting, council voted in favor of a financial package for the Gantz Road improvement project. The total project is estimated at $2.6 million. The city received an award from the Ohio Public Works Commission for the project in the amount of $1.9 million, including a grant of $835,000 and a loan of $1.1 million. Council also voted to set aside $417,000 from the city’s general fund for the project.
According to Mike Keller, from the engineering firm EMH&T, the project includes improving traffic circulation along the road by adding the roundabout at Gantz Road and Brookham Drive. The plan also calls for paving, improved street lights and a connected bike path.
“This is not a one-stop project,” said Keller. “Many other projects tie in.”
It was the roundabout that two council members questioned.
Council president Roby Schottke said he was confused as to why a roundabout was needed at that location. Councilman Steve Bennett said he was concerned that a roundabout would create a bottleneck with the large truck traffic.
Keller said the roundabout would help traffic at peak times along Gantz and Brookham, but would also help traffic along Ohio Avenue. He said there is backup in these areas in the morning and evening.
“This will allow the traffic to move,” said Keller.
Keller also said engineers reviewed a traffic signal at the intersection, but said that did not work so close to the traffic signal at Gantz and Stringtown roads.
Bennett said the point of a roundabout is to keep traffic moving, but he said traffic on Stringtown creates a backup on Gantz Road. He said drivers could get stuck in the roundabout waiting to get onto Stringtown.
“We already have traffic backed up that far,” said the councilman.
He suggested waiting for improvements on Stringtown Road.
According to Keller, the Ohio Department of Transportation has reviewed congestion along Stringtown Road. Plans for improvements would be sometime between the years 2020 and 2025.
A resident in the audience, Chuck Engelman, spoke out saying there was no purpose of the roundabout.
“Sounds like a waste of money to me,” he said.
Grove City Mayor Richard “Ike” Stage said the project had received a considerable amount of study and that study found this project would improve traffic and safety along Gantz Road.
Keller said more Gantz Road improvements are planned, including intersection work at Gantz and Home roads.
In other news, councilman Jeff Davis announced that as finance chair, he would host a series of community meetings to discuss city finance.
He said the meetings would cover how the city receives its money and how it spends its money.
The meetings will be held the second Monday of each month starting in July and running through October. The meetings will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be held in council chambers in City Hall, 4035 Broadway. The city’s finance director will be on hand to facilitate the discussion.
You cannot be serious! Whose brilliant idea was this? Were you planning to tie Southwest Boulevard into Brookham? I cannot believe that the people who imagined this ever drove a semi truck with a long trailer in a circle with cars beside it. This will definitely NOT improve traffic on Stringtown. Too many warehouses with semis and cars in the middle of this area is what the problem is. Roundabouts are not an answer, maybe an answer to getting a lot of improvement money and this is a fix to spend it because you don’t know what else to do? Concentrate on improving Stringtown for better flow, not roundabouts, people don’t drive in a straight line very well, let alone a busy circle. Maybe access roads to some of the businesses so you don’t have to keep popping out onto Stringtown to get anywhere.