Road closes for SWACO upgrades

By Dedra Cordle
Staff Writer

A section of a moderately travelled road in Grove City will be temporarily closed due to planned construction activities at the Franklin County Sanitary Landfill.

Starting June 1, a 1.5-mile stretch of Young Road, just south of London-Groveport Road, will be closed to motorists until the end of August 2020. Emergency vehicles and those seeking admittance into the police training academy will be exempt from the restriction.

The closure is due to a county-approved request from the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio as they seek to construct an at-grade crossing on Young Road.

According to Scott Perry, the director of operations and maintenance, the crossing will be used solely for its vehicles so they can safely cross Young Road while hauling materials needed for new landfill cells.

“It will be used strictly to bring materials from the west side of the landfill to the east side,” he said.

The materials in question primarily consist of clay, which is needed as an additional layer to keep waste materials separated from the areas around them.

“We need at least three feet of clay to protect the bottom of the landfill cell,” Perry said.

A landfill cell, or a designated area where a section of land will be prepared for trash disposal, is constructed every two to three years. The latest landfill cell at the site was constructed in 2017 and began collecting waste last year. With the landfill collecting more than 1.2 million tons of waste annually, Perry said it is imperative that new cells are frequently constructed.

“It fills up pretty quick,” he said.

He noted that the crossing, or new access road, will be used for two to three months at a time.

“It will only be used a couple of months out of the year,” he said.

While the construction phase will not be lengthy, much will be done during the closure. In addition to creating the access road for SWACO vehicles, there will be the installation of security fencing and the undertaking of landscaping measures. After the access road is built, approximately 160 feet of Young Road will be improved, which includes the entire width of the roadway in that section.

The official detours have been posted on SWACO’s website though they recommend utilizing Zuber Road to access State Route 62 and State Route 665.

The 534-acre landfill, which opened in 1984, has a lifespan of 50 years. In order to increase the potential life of the landfill, cells have been designed for additional spacing capacity and diversion programs have been created.

According to Hanna Greer-Brown, the communications manager for SWACO, 76 percent of materials that go into the landfill could be diverted through its recycling program. For more information on which materials can be recycled, visit SWACO’s site at https://recycleright.org.

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