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SR-161 Olentangy west to Sawmill Rd. Study

The City of Worthington, along with partner jurisdictions and agencies City of Columbus, Perry Township, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC), and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), has identified the State Route 161 (SR 161) corridor as a shared goal for improvement. 

ODOT has agreed work with the jurisdictions to administer a comprehensive evaluation of the corridor. Representatives presented information to Worthington City Council at its March 21, 2016 meeting. Consent and appropriation legislation to fund Worthington's portion of the study was introduced at the April 4th City Council meeting, with a public hearing scheduled for April 18th. 

Proposed Legislation

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3/21/16 ODOT Presentation to City Council

The goal of the ODOT evaluation is to identify alternatives that the public could review and provide comment on. Viable alternatives would include:
  • Further traffic analysis
  • Roadway and structure assessment
  • Preliminary evaluation of geotechnical conditions
  • Assessment of right of way
  • Evaluation of utility and railroad impacts
  • Environmental analysis
  • Extensive public involvement
  • Comparisons would be made between alternatives

The goal would be to produce a "preferred alternative" that each of the agencies involved could support and that addresses the shared goals of reducing traffic congestion, improving bicycle and pedestrian access and enhancing safety.  It is possible that multiple projects could be identified that would be phased over time.

Worthington also has a goal of improving the aesthetic appearance of its western gateway and maintaining a residential land use character in the area east of the Linworth commercial node to State Route 315.  

In anticipation of participating in this effort, the Worthington City Council budgeted $150,000 in the 2016 Capital Improvement Program (CIP).  The following is the breakdown of proposed costs for each jurisdiction/organization/agency participating in the study:

 Organization   Percentage of Total
 Perry Township   5%  
 Total Budget

2014 MORPC Traffic Study

Previously, the Cities of Worthington and Columbus and Perry Township contracted with MORPC to conduct a traffic study of the corridor between Olentangy River Road and Sawmill Road. The study, completed in 2014, shows in order to improve traffic congestion along the corridor, the intersections of SR 161 at Linworth Road and Olentangy River Road must be improved.  In addition, the at-grade railroad crossing west of Linworth Road must be addressed. MORPC 161 Traffic Study