By Rick Palsgrove
Discussions and plans are still being made about what to do regarding the traffic and road conditions on Toy Road.
The Franklin County Engineer’s Office, the city of Groveport, and Madison Township will hold a public meeting about Toy Road on June 4 from 5:30-7:30 p.m at the engineer’s East Maintenance Facility, located at 4801 Hendron Road in Groveport. The formal presentation begins at 6 p.m.
The county engineer will talk about future road improvements, city of Groveport officials will explain why the city returned an Ohio Public Works Commission grant, and Madison Township officials will be there to answer questions.
Residents living on Toy Road, Saltzgaber Road, and Swisher Road have been frustrated for several years by the poor conditions of these roads as well as the heavy traffic from nearby commercial warehouses that uses these narrow, formerly rural roads. The residents are seeking relief from the vehicle and semi-truck traffic 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.
Last summer a $2.8 million proposal was made to reconstruct about a half mile of Toy Road that is located within the city of Groveport from Centerpoint Parkway to Swisher Road. The city of Groveport had applied for, and received, approval for an Ohio Public Works Commission grant of $1.57 million to help fund the city’s portion of the project’s cost.
However, in a letter dated April 26, the city of Groveport notified the OPWC that it turned down the funding because the city was not able to proceed with the project. The letter states, “The success of the project relied on a public-private partnership with a potential developer who was willing to bring a substantial financial contribution to the project, pending their successful negotiation for acquisition of adjacent real estate with several private property owners. That negotiation was unsuccessful and after a period of our continued conversation with the developer, they advised us their project is no longer financially viable and thus they cannot bring the financial contribution to the project.”
City of Groveport officials notified the OPWC that the city cannot proceed with the project without a private financial partner and therefore had to decline the OPWC funding.
In the mean time, Groveport City Administrator Marsha Hall said Groveport City Engineer Steve Farst is meeting with the Franklin County Engineer’s Office to discuss a contract with a consulting engineer for future pavement improvements to Toy Road. She said the earliest such pavement improvement work could begin would be in late 2020.
“We hope to know those costs by the end of July,” said Hall.