By Linda Dillman
The Franklin County Engineers Office is hoping widening Rohr Road to three lanes from Bixby Road to a curve near Shook Road will bring the two-lane road into alignment with previous improvements.
Following a 2019 study connected with new warehouse development, an eastbound left turn lane onto Creekside Parkway was deemed necessary. The new turn lane, along with subsequent road improvements west of a bridge crossing the railroad added to a growing list of improvements.
A 2021 study of the entire Rohr Road corridor could result in more changes to the landscape if the county engineer’s office is successful in securing Ohio Public Works Commission funding for the majority of the $4.5 million project.
The city of Obetz plans to participate in the project, along with a $1.3 million contribution from a developer. If funding is secured during the upcoming round of OPWC grants, construction could begin as early as April 2026.
Franklin County Engineer’s Office Communications Director Carla Marable said the 2021 study evaluated the corridor as a whole and recommended corridor-wide improvements rather than rely on piece meal improvements on a development by development basis.
“The results of this corridor study recommended a three-lane section was beneficial to allow for a two-way left-turn lane or dedicated left-turn lanes to facilitate safe access off and on this high-speed and high truck percentage roadway,” said Marable.
A public meeting was held on Aug. 9 in the Hamilton Township Community Center to present details of the road widening project—850 feet west of Bixby Road to 100 feet short of Shook Road—to public officials and property owners within the affected area.
Plans include widening Rohr Road to three lanes at the Rohr Road and Bixby Road intersection then tapering the road back down to two lanes over the railroad bridge.
The road widens back out to three lanes from Creekside Parkway east before tapering back down to two lanes to match the existing condition at the Rohr Road and Shook Road intersection.
The existing roadway would be completely replaced. Turn lanes, sealing and patching the existing bridge deck, storm sewer replacement, installation of curbs and gutters, crosswalks and ADA curb ramps are also included in the project.
Engineers propose to maintain one eastbound lane on Rohr Road during the majority of construction.
While engineers hoped to include lighting, a shared use path and bridge widening to accommodate the path, the cost was deemed too high to earn a favorable OPWC grant rating.
“Over the last several weeks, we have determined that the construction budget of the project was growing beyond the proposed grant funding criteria,” said Marable. “We are still proposing crosswalks and ADA curb ramps at Rohr Road/Bixby Road and Rohr Road/Creekside Parkway intersections in order to accommodate a future path connection in this area.”
According to Marable, if the county is not successful with their OPWC application this fall, they will try again next year. If the application is turned down again in 2024, it will be put on hold until the engineer’s office can identify viable funding alternatives.