By Rick Palsgrove
Franklin County engineers presented three options that could help alleviate the ongoing traffic problems plaguing Toy, Saltzgaber, and Swisher roads.
At a public meeting on March 21 held at the county engineer’s maintenance building on Hendron Road in Groveport, Fritz Crosier, chief deputy of engineering for Franklin County Engineer Cornell Robertson, said the three roads were “not intended to handle semi-truck traffic” and that the condition of the roads is poor.
Madison Township residents living on Toy Road, Saltzgaber Road, and Swisher Road remain frustrated by the heavy traffic from nearby commercial warehouses that uses these narrow, formerly rural roads.
Residents in the area have been seeking relief from the vehicle and semi-truck traffic that they say damages the roads, tears up yards, knocks over mailboxes, causes noise, generates trash, and creates congestion.
The three roads have the added problem of falling within several different government jurisdictions including Madison Township, the cities of Groveport and Obetz, and Franklin County.
“It’s complex, but we need to have the residents’ concerns in mind and also be aware of future development growth in the area,” said Crosier.
Crosier presented the following separate potential options to improve the situation:
•Construct a roundabout at the intersection of Toy and Swisher roads to allow trucks to turn around, slow speeding vehicles, and have enhanced signage to guide trucks.
•Resurface all three roads, make drainage improvements, install speed humps to slow traffic, and install turn prohibitions such as “right turn in, right turn out only” at the intersections of Groveport Road and Saltzgaber Road and Groveport Road and Swisher Road.
•Temporarily close Toy Road by constructing bulb shaped cul-de-sacs east of Center Point Parkway to separate trucks to the west and restrict traffic to the east while still allowing access for local traffic and for emergency vehicles. It would allow engineers to study the impact of the closure to see if closing the road permanently would be an option in the future.
Crosier said the county and representatives from Groveport, Obetz, and Madison Township will discuss the options and hold additional public meetings before making a decision on which option to choose. He said it is hoped a choice can be made by mid-summer so the government entities can apply for grants by late summer to fund the project. He said if funding is acquired, it’s possible work could begin on the project by July 2019. He added that it is too early in the process to determine what the estimated costs for each option would be.
Following the meeting, Madison Township trustees John Kershner and Ed Dildine both said they favored the option to temporarily close Toy Road.
Groveport City Administrator Marsha Hall said city officials do not have a preference on which option to pursue at this time because they need to review and discuss the options further.
“We’ve made it clear to the county that Groveport is willing to take responsibility for our part of the roadway,” said Hall.
No representatives from the city of Obetz attended the meeting.