(Posted Sept. 22, 2021)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Plans are in the works for construction of a second roundabout and other improvements at the I-70 and State Route 29 interchange in West Jefferson.
On Sept. 20, West Jefferson village council held a first reading on an agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) regarding the project’s design, right-of-way acquisition, and construction.
The project represents the second phase of improvements at the interchange. The first phase, completed about eight years ago, saw the construction of a roundabout on the interchange’s northwest side. The second phase will include:
• construction of a two-lane roundabout on the southeast side (eastbound I-70);
• construction of a bridge adjacent to the existing one that carries Route 29 over I-70 to increase capacity; and
• widening of State Route 29 to four lanes (two through lanes in each direction) southeast of the interchange to Commerce Parkway.
The project is expected to cost approximately $12 million. ODOT will cover the majority of the cost as most of the project lies in its jurisdiction. West Jefferson is responsible for $558,163.
Jeff Mitchell, West Jefferson’s director of public service, said the village will explore various funding sources to cover the local share, including the village’s general fund, TIF moneys, Transportation Improvement District dollars, and Ohio Public Works Commission funding.
According to Mitchell, design work for the project is slated to start in 2022 and will take about a year to complete. Construction is scheduled to begin in April 2023.
ODOT is currently rehabilitating the existing bridge at the interchange. This work is not considered to be part of the upcoming second phase work.
Council will hold a second reading on the project agreement with ODOT at its Oct. 4 meeting which will take place at 7 p.m. in council chambers at the village hall. A vote on the legislation is possible at that time. Approval is due back to ODOT by Dec. 15.
In other action, council accepted the Planning & Zoning Commission’s recommendation to approve a lot split, final site plan, and landscaping plan for a new building at Columbus Logistics Park West. The parcel is located along U.S. Route 40, south of State Route 29. The developer does not have a tenant for the building at this time but hopes to have one secured before construction begins early next year, Mitchell said.