According to Highland County Engineer Dean Otworth, $1.6 million in construction improvements are coming next summer to Tolle Road, which connects U.S. Route 50 with SR 138 southwest of Hillsboro.
“We’ve been working with the Liberty Township Trustees,” Otworth said, “and of course, my office and the ODOT folks in Columbus. We’re hoping to start construction in the July 1st timeframe with an estimated time of completion in late October or early November of next year.”
Otworth told The Times-Gazette that all of the preliminary tasks have been completed, such as construction plans and right-of-way acquisition, with only relocation of utilities left to be completed.
He said that allowing the utility companies sufficient time to relocate their resources is the principal reason construction can’t start until next summer.
“It’s about .91 miles of reconstruction on Tolle Road,” he said. “There’s a section at about the middle of it that we re-worked about four years ago which included a bridge project.”
Otworth said the undertaking will include reconstruction of the existing sections that hadn’t been done prior to the 2014 bridge project, which should significantly improve the entire 2.1-mile stretch of the township road.
“We’ll be installing new culverts under the road and putting in new driveway culverts,” he said. “Reworking of the driveways is included and the road will be widened to bring it up to standards with the bridge we put in.”
Otworth said the main reason for the construction is the increase in ADT, or average daily traffic that has been seen over the years.
“We’ve seen a significant increase in traffic since we put the bridge in,” he said. “It went from around 300 ADT in 2014 to what we measured in recent months, which was upwards of 900 cars a day.”
He said Tolle Road is a main connector and cut-through for drivers inbound from the southwest section of Highland County.
Analysis of traffic flow by the engineer’s office has shown that a significant number of drivers take Tolle Road to U.S. 50, then to Fenner and Pea Ridge roads, with the business hub on Harry Sauner Road being the final destination.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.