Campus connection cleared by commissioners

News Release Date: 
08.06.14

Marion Star staff report, 5:25 p.m. EDT August 5, 2014

MARION – After years of discussion and work, county officials finally approved a road extension at Marion’s regional Ohio State campus Tuesday morning.

The Board of Marion County Commissioners unanimously supported plans and specifications for the University Drive Campus Extension project at their regular meeting.

“It’s been a long time coming,” board president Dan Russell said. “But it’s finally starting to come to fruition.”

Deputy county engineer Phil Wright said the Ohio State at Marion campus extension was first proposed in 2001. The project was relaunched by the engineer’s office in 2010.

Wright said “everything is still a little tentative” because the final approval must pass the Ohio Department of Transportation, but he said it has “all been reviewed by ODOT” throughout the planning process.

Construction is expected to begin this fall after a bid is selected. Wright estimates the road will be completed by October 2015.

The project, estimated to cost $3.2 million, would link University Drive from Mount Vernon Avenue (Ohio 95) to Ohio 529 south of the campus with a 2,900-foot-long extension along the western boarder of the Marion regional campus.

The project will be funded by an $895,000 ODOT enhancement grant for landscaping and the pedestrian/bike pathway; $500,000 Ohio Public Works Commission funding; $1 million in safety grant funds to replace the Ohio 529 curve; and about $800,000 from the county transportation budget.