By Amanda Ensinger
Two westside townships are moving forward with an interchange project that will serve as a welcome to their respective communities.
At a recent Prairie Township meeting, the board gave an update on the highly anticipated I-270 interchange project.
“The package is complete and the project is ready to go out to bid,” said Rob Peters, township administrator for Prairie Township. “We will put this out to bid soon and hope to have construction begin in the fall.”
Construction is expected to be complete by 2020.
The project would improve the landscaping around the West Broad Street and I-270 interchange. It is a collaboration between Franklin Township, Prairie Township, Franklin County, Hollywood Casino, Columbus, Weston Vision and Haydocy.
The project will include adding landscaping, LED lighting over the underpass and sculptures to the interchange. It is valued at around $900,000.
Previously, it was estimated that maintenance of the interchange would cost between $30,000 and $60,000 a year and organizers were looking for eight partners to pay approximately $4,500 to $7,500 each per year for the next 20 years.
However, after discussions with partners, both Prairie and Franklin Township agreed to maintain the landscaping in their municipalities.
“More of the square footage for this project will be in Prairie Township as a result of how the interchange is configured,” Peters said. “However, it is important we both maintain our parts of the interchange because this is visitor’s first glimpse into our communities.”
In other news, the board discussed an upcoming paving project taking place in both Franklin and Prairie Township near Havenwood Apartments.
“Franklin Township received a grant to repave Westport Road,” Peters said.
Portions of Westport Road are also in Prairie Township, adding an additional benefit to Prairie Township.
The $2 million project would include rebuilding Lincoln Park Court and Nationwide Boulevard. The project also would include adding sidewalks to the area. All of these updates are located within the Havenwood Apartments community and will help residents better access school buses and COTA transportation.
The total cost for this project is $2.1 million and the grant Franklin Township received is for $2 million leaving some funding Franklin Township would need to cover. However, the majority of the cost will be secured via the grant.
Residents also asked leadership how they can petition for a speed bump on their road.
“In order for a speed bump to go on a road, we need to get an accurate traffic count,” said Stephen Kennedy, township trustee. “There needs to be at least 500 cars that travel on the road a day and the majority of cars need to be going 30 miles per hour above the speed limit.”
The township typically will put a speed trailer on a road to count the traffic and the speed of cars to see if the road meets the criteria for a speed bump. If the road does not meet the criteria, they may put a temporary speed bump on the road to slow traffic down.