There’s a lot of Orange pride in Central Ohio. Oh, I don’t mean Pioneer logo wear, I mean the orange traffic cones, detour signs and flaggers on every other block.
South Old State and Bale Kenyon have been under construction for about six months. With detours and roadblocks, students are having a hard time getting to the places they need to go and getting there on time.
“Construction blocks both sides of my neighborhood, and it keeps me from getting to school the way I used to,” junior Kara LaPaglia said.
Construction began on or about May 1, 2017 and required a closure of Lewis Center Road between Bale Kenyon and Africa
Road. Northbound traffic on Bale Kenyon was detoured north of Orange Road at the same time. Local traffic, or people who live in the work zone area, on Bale Kenyon Road will enter the work zone from Lewis Center Road and exit to south toward Orange Road or Powell Road.
According to the most recent update from the Delaware County Engineer Office, “the new roundabout at Lewis Center and Bale Kenyon will open the afternoon of Aug. 11.”
Road work on South Old State Road began on March 27 starting with storm sewer installation and utility construction, as part of a project that will widen Old State Road from Polaris Parkway to Orange Road to two lanes in each direction. Plus, it will add dual left turn lanes at Polaris and sidewalks and paths along the road.
As of Monday, Aug. 14, Bale Kenyon Road closed to traffic for the replacement of two bridges and final work on the widening of Bale Kenyon Road between Orange and Lewis Center Road. The posted detour will use Orange Road to Old State to Lewis Center Road.
The excessive amount of traffic is adding time and money to students commutes. Some students are questioning whether
it is worth the hassle.
“I have to leave my house earlier before I go anywhere. I have to use extra gas to go places. It takes 15 minutes to get to school where it used to be a six minute drive,” LaPaglia said.
With the construction comes detours. Some of these detours are in neighborhoods. When a neighborhood is considered a faster route, it almost turns into a road.
“Due to construction on Bale Kenyon, there has been a lot of traffic in the neighborhood across Orange since that’s the only way there is for some. It creates an unsafe environment for kids who haven’t gotten picked up from school yet in that neighborhood,” junior Irad Gomez said.
Many students are considering whether it is even worth the hassle and fuss. All the time this has taken has been a burden on many.
“What they’re doing to help out after construction is finished is with good intent, but it was very poorly planned and executed,” Gomez said.
After reaching out several times to the Delaware County Engineer Office, there was no response about the future plans or current state of the construction.