Newark — The city of Newark plans to begin design work later this year to improve Thornwood Drive at the hilly intersection with West Main Street, which stretches from River Road to Faye Drive.
The goal of the project is to eliminate the steep hills around the intersection and create a semi-track-friendly economic development corridor from Ohio 16 to Interstate 70 as part of a multi-community partnership.
The corridor is the route from Ohio 16 to Thornwood Crossing, avoiding the Cherry Valley Road bridge and following a new road to Thornwood Drive, Heath south to Ridgeley Tracto Road, and Ohio 79 to Hebron and the State. Continue to Interstate 70.
“We will open up all the land in the western and southern parts of Newark to Heath and improve connections from 16 to 79,” said Brian Morehead, an engineer in Newark. “It’s really important to the economy of the community.”
The City Council’s Services Commission approved a law working with the Ohio Department of Transportation on a project scheduled for construction in 2025-26 on Monday night. The full council will consider it at the next meeting.
According to Morehead, the design work will determine whether the city will improve the existing Thornwood Drive or create a new road east of the existing road.
“We are considering both ideas and are studying cost-benefit analysis for the best solution,” says Morehead. “Existing roads are digging into the sides of the hills. We need to move a lot of soil to make the slopes gentler. Is it rational to build a new road?”
Improvements to existing roads will not be completely flat, but will significantly improve grades, according to Morehead.
The estimated cost of the project is estimated at about $ 6 million, but it won’t be bid for at least three years, Morehead said.
The Licking County Traffic Improvement District last month selected the Thornwood Corridor as its second priority project, and improving jersey township roads has made Intel Corporation’s computer chip development a top priority. The state needs to rank the projects in order to receive state funding.
TID is seeking $ 250,000 from the Newark project, which had previously received $ 2.6 million in federal funding through the Licking County Regional Traffic Survey.
Bill Lozier, TID Project Director, said there is Intel’s connection to the Thornwood Corridor Improvement Project. This will result in Ohio 310, Ohio 37, or Mink Road.
Rick Pratt, Secretary-General of the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority, said the Thornwood Corridor has already been used by employees of the Central Ohio Aerospace Technology Center and four other industrial complexes managed by the Port Authority. Said that. In the area.
“Intel is a fact of the future,” Pratt said. “Currently, there is the fact that there are already companies in this corridor that need the Thornwood Corridor. There are five industrial complexes in the corridor. It is being strengthened by Intel but not dependent on it.”
The North-West Main Street improvement on Thornwood Drive is a $ 15 million Thornwood Crossing project. This extends Thornwood Crossing from Cherry Valley Road to Thornwood Drive, crossing Raccoon Creek and bike paths with a three-span steel girder bridge, enabling the city. Bypass the degraded Showman Arch Bridge on Cherry Valley Road.
The Thornwood Crossing project will start in June 2023 and will take 18 to 24 months to complete, so it will be completed before the Thornwood-West Main project begins, Morehead said.
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