Grove City Council approves I-71 overpass study

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By Andrea Cordle
Grove City Editor

The city of Grove City will review options for an Interstate 71 overpass.

Council acted at the Aug. 1 meeting to appropriate $212,100 and enter into an agreement with the engineering firm EMH&T for an alignment and feasibility study for an I-71 overpass.

This overpass project was part of the Grove City 2050 Community Plan, which was adopted by council in 2018. Grove City 2050 is a blueprint to update the city’s plans and policy to proactively shape where and how the city grows. It includes recommendations for land use, thoroughfare, and economic development.

“The land use study area names a plan to link the east side of 71 to the western part of the city,” said Grove City Mayor Richard “Ike” Stage. “This is an evolution that has been going on for quite a while.”

The goal is to have access over Interstate 71 in the southern part of the city. The 2050 community plan recommends an overpass at Holton Road. According to the document, this would allow a new frontage road to be developed on the west side of the interstate, like North Meadows Drive on the east side of 71. It would open land for development. An additional point of connectivity across the highway would also decrease the traffic on existing roadways.

The study would determine if a connection to Holton Road is possible. According to city legislation, the feasibility of the proposed overpass must be studied in terms of roadway alignment, bridge configuration, hydraulic modeling along with environmental and utility reviews. It must also be coordinated with the Ohio Department of Transportation.

One of the other challenges of the proposal is going into an area already partially developed with both residential and non-residential development.

According to Stage, city officials have already met with Mount Carmel and most of the other landowners who would be impacted by this project.

“The meeting with Mount Carmel was quite productive because they had some good suggestions,” said Stage.

The mayor said city officials have also met with representatives from the Buckeye Ranch and the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO).

“We had pretty good feedback from them,” said Stage.

The city plans to apply for various funding sources to offset the initial capital cost for the improvements, including but not exclusive to, federal attributable funds through the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission and roadwork development funds.

Stage said the city needs to look into funding from the federal infrastructure bill.

“We need to make sure we are queued up into the system if it makes sense to do so,” said Stage. “I believe if you don’t have the attributable funds queued up, your chance of getting infrastructure dollars is pretty much eliminated.”

To review the Grove City 2050 Community Plan, visit grovecityohio.gov.

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