Circleville, OH — Pickaway County officials received word today from Senator Voinovich that $2 million has been set aside for the Pickaway East-West Connector (“Connector”) in the Senate Transportation and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill. The bill passed out of Senate Committee and is headed for final passage in early fall. The $2 million will be used for Right of Way acquisition for the Connector.
The Pickaway East-West Connector is a proposed four-lane roadway stretching roughly three to four miles from the southern end of Rickenbacker Airport in the vicinity of the Norfolk Southern Rickenbacker Intermodal Terminal (“Intermodal”) to US 23. Total cost of the Connector, including engineering, environmental, design, Right of Way Acquisition, and construction is estimated at $44 million.
I had forgotten about this project, so I did a web search and found a Powerpoint presentation (in PDF format) on MORPC’s site if you want to read more about it. The map to the right shows the new connector as dashed red line just south of the airport. All those solid red lines are “major widenings.” US-23 is to be converted to a freeway, with interchanges at London-Groveport Rd, the new connector, Duvall Rd, as well as a bypass around South Bloomfield.
The presentation shows the new roadway as a 50 MPH four lane divided highway, with a 10-foot wide shared use path on one side.
I think a shared use path is probably about as multi-modal as I could expect for a major truck route, but I do really hope some comprehensive planning is done for the growth that’s bound to occur in this area. With all those “major widenings” to occur, there will be a huge opportunity to shape the highway design and land use in the area. And you know there will be a huge growth in residences to be close to all the jobs near Rickenbacker. Do all of those new residents have to drive cars to work? Hopefully not if we plan properly to provide alternative options.