Delaware County is fastest growing county in Ohio

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Delaware County continues to grow and remains the number one fastest growing county in Ohio.

By next year, Delaware County will crack the 200,000 population mark.

Most of the growth is happening between interstate 270 and the city of Delaware.

One area seeing the largest growth is the Columbus area of Delaware County which has grown 62 percent since 2010.

Other areas seeing double-digit growth are the Villages of Ostrander, Berkshire Township, Galena and Sunbury.

But all this growth is also leading to traffic congestion.

“A headache,” Delaware resident Amanda Sonk said. “It’s really frustrating. Actually, we’re discussing moving because of the traffic,” she said.

This was supposed to be an area where people could escape into the country. That changed when the building boom took over.

There's a new IKEA store being built near Polaris Fashion Place. Apartments are sprouting like weeds, new retirement communities have been added and the traffic keeps getting worse.

“Just to leave my work to get to [Interstate] 71, which is normally a two-minute drive, sometimes takes 12 to 15 minutes,” Jamee Conner said. “I can remember when they did [the] Gemini Place exit. They thought this would be a solution. Every morning when I’m getting off that Polaris exit, it’s not a solution, it’s bumper to bumper hectic traffic.”

Delaware County Engineer Chris Bauserman is in charge of building more roads.

“Congestion is a huge issue. We're investing $40 million in transportation infrastructure this year,” he said.

But he adds that's not nearly enough and there are plans for $114 million over the next five years.

Sawmill Parkway, South Old State, Worthington Road, Lewis Center and Powell Road are all slated to be widened for traffic.

“Next year on South Old State Road, we'll expand the two-lane section of South Old State to five lanes from Polaris Parkway up to Orange Road,” Bauserman said.

Delaware's population shows no signs of slowing down. In 2000, the population was 109,000. By 2025, that number is projected to be double that to nearly 230,000 people.

While traffic congestion seems to be part of living in a desirable county, the more people who come to live and work here is adding to driver frustration.

“I’m nervous with IKEA coming in, the new apartments coming in, that it’s just going to get more hectic,” Conner said.

According to the website Orbrella , which tracks auto insurance rates, the average commute in Delaware was 29.5 minutes based on the latest census data.

The worst in Ohio, according to the website, is Pickerington at 30.9 minutes.