By Katelyn Sattler
Two large projects have gotten the attention of city of Obetz officials.
Obetz Deputy Administrator Mike Corbitt recently told Obetz City Council, “I have two letters of support that we’re putting together for two different grants, one for Alum Creek Drive, which is a federal grant that Franklin County is putting together.”
The project will take Alum Creek Drive from two lanes to three lanes in each direction from Groveport Road to State Route 317. Alum Creek Drive is a principal arterial for both freight and passenger traffic and provides primary access to Rickenbacker Airport and Inland Port.
Brad Foster, chief deputy of operations for the Franklin County Engineer’s office, said the proposed project has a projected construction time frame of 2028 to 2029.
The estimated cost is $58.5 million, with 80 percent covered by federal dollars and the remaining 20 percent from $11.5 million in local money, including public and private funds.
Replacing the bridge crossing Big Walnut Creek and adding additional lanes to Alum Creek Drive without major interruptions to traffic are key pieces of the project. Foster said many of the shipments heading to the new Intel facility in Licking County will pass in and out of the Rickenbacker airport.
“Alum Creek Drive is a major thoroughfare,” said Foster. “We need all stakeholders (Columbus, Groveport, Obetz and Madison and Hamilton townships) on board.”
The other letter of support is for Obetz as a partner on a Williams Road project with the city of Columbus. Other partners are the Franklin County Engineer and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission.
This plan is to improve the Williams Road corridor to make it an effective multi-modal freight corridor. The proposed project plans to separate two at-grade (at road level) rail crossings. The crossings are on Williams Road within 250 feet of each other. The eastern crossing involves two tracks owned by Norfolk Southern. The western crossing involves one track owned by CSX. This will allow people, first responders, and freight to move more efficiently through the corridor.
“This is a large project that goes from U.S. 23 all the way to Hamilton Road,” said Corbitt. “This is also a federal grant and potentially looking to eliminate some of those at-grade rail crossings. It’s all part of the shared-use paths and sidewalks.”
Other Obetz news
•At Obetz City Council’s Feb. 27 meeting, Mayor Angie Kirk said JBM Development is constructing apartments across from Hamilton Township High School, east of Lockbourne Road and north of Secrest Avenue.
•Assistant Safety Director Jess Griffith is working on a grant to help pay for teens of driving age to be able to take drivers education to get their license if the family can’t afford to pay.
“So they wait till they turn 18 to get their driver’s license,” Kirk said. “The goal is to help teens get employed and/or be able to play school sports. Jess will be attempting to work with local driving schools to further this goal.”
•Kirk said the way city officials do committee reports will change. Until now, Kirk would introduce each committee chair at council meetings and have them give a report on committee activities since the previous meeting.
Councilman Mike Kimbler looked at what nearby communities were doing for committee reports and what Obetz had been doing were not true committee reports, but community updates. While all council members are active in their areas of committee responsibility, actual committee meetings are rare, so there will be rare committee reports from the council chairpersons. They will still give community updates to let the community know what’s happening.
•The Hamilton Township Fire Chief reported that the department went on 75 EMS runs and 21 fire runs in December and 55 EMS runs and 18 fire runs in January.