Developer, Residents Push for New Interchange in Delaware County
There is a new push for a new interchange in Delaware County.
While there is no debating that a new interchange is needed along Interstate 71, near U.S. Route 36 - State Route 37, but there is debate on where the interchange should go.
According to the Ohio Department of Transportation, the current interchange at Interstate 71 and U.S. Route 36 - State Route 37 was built more than 40 years ago. It remains the only interstate access in the central and northern part of Delaware County.
Shawna Burkham said something needs to be done about the interchange. She is part of an on-line petition to make that happen.
“We aren't arguing (that) we don't need another interchange, we know we need another interchange,” Burkham said.
Burkham said she believes that the interchange should be north of Routes 36/37.
“That is where it makes more sense to build the interchange. That is where the need is the greatest," she said.
Burkham is referring to the abundance of property north of the current interchange; it’s zoned for residential and commercial use.
Much of the property to the south is still farmland, but that's exactly where Northgate Center Development wants the interchange. The company wants to develop around the new outlet mall.
Phil Craig, Spokesperson for Northgate Development said, “It makes the most sense for everyone, including Northgate, so that traffic is taken off 36/37.
Craig is taking the company's case to ODOT, arguing an interchange to the south would be better for the developers, as well as shoppers.
While Craig is pushing for a southern interchange, residents like Burkham are hoping ODOT listens to them.
ODOT said they are listening to both sides, but before a decision is made on where the interchange would go, funding needs to be secured for the project.