Not everyone is pleased with township's plan to connect Montego Drive.
Traffic patterns in Moorefield Twp. are about to change, bringing convenience to many and inconvenience to a few.
Kristen Earley and her family are some of the few.
They live at a dead end on Montego Drive, but a $1.1 million road project will soon link it with another Montego Drive dead end, at which point it will be a dead end no more.
The project is expected to ease traffic congestion elsewhere, but it will allow traffic from two of the township’s most heavily traveled roads — Middle Urbana and Derr — to pass straight through the Northridge neighborhood.
Earley is not pleased by the prospect. The dead end was one of the reasons she and her husband bought their house two years ago, and they had expected it to remain as is.
“We asked the neighbors, and they said, “They've been talking about (the road project) for 30 years and nobody's ever done anything,’” Earley said.
The road project became possible last year when the township was awarded a $832,500 state grant from Ohio Public Works Commission.
Construction is expected to begin sometime in March, according to township Trustee Bob Mounts. Under the current plans, drainage issues that more than three decades ago made the
project cost-prohibitive will be resolved by the construction of two prestressed-concrete culverts.
The project likely will be completed by midsummer and is expected to allow for new residential development in the area. Local developer Hoppes Builders has already proposed a 37-lot subdivision on the more than 10 acres of land that will be opened up.
Earley said she gave some thought to complaining to the township's board of trustees about the road project, but concluded it wouldn't do much good.
“They've got the money,” she said. “They're gonna use it. You can't stop progress.”
Mounts: Montego project is ‘a win for everybody' -- Some disagree, saying update will create new problems.
MOOREFIELD — More than 30 years ago, plans to extend Montego Drive all the way through the Northridge neighborhood halted, and Montego was left with an 800 foot gap framed by two dead ends.
One unintended consequence of that was to make the route from Derr Road to Middle Urbana Road via Montego circuitous and time-consuming.
Trustee Bob Mounts, an enthusiastic supporter of a road project that will finally result in the construction of that missing 800 feet of roadway, as well as extending Midfield Street, likens the neighborhood's current layout to a labyrinth.
“I suppose there are a few (residents opposed to the project),” Mounts said. “But from an engineering standpoint, it will help traffic patterns everywhere. It's a win for everybody.”
Another unintended consequence was that streets like Carona Street, though they were never designed for it, have seen a lot of traffic that was meant for Midfield and Montego.
Kristen Earley and her husband, who live in a house at the corner of Carona and Montego, say cars regularly tear around the corner at dangerous speeds, a worrisome state of affairs for them, because they are raising three young children. Their front yard, thankfully, sits at one of Montego drive's two dead ends, where there is no traffic at all.
According to Kenneth D. Fenton, a deputy engineer with the Clark County Engineer's office, Midfield Street and Montego were designed as “collector streets,” city-planning parlance for streets that feed traffic into larger, more heavily traveled roads, like Derr and Middle Urbana.
“(Midfield and Montego) are large streets, 40 feet back-to-back,” Fenton said. “They were designed to carry larger amounts of traffic.”
The road project will benefit people who live on Carona Street, because when it is finished, that traffic is expected to move onto Montego Drive, which is 10 feet wider than Carona and is being fully repaved in anticipation of the new traffic.
But the Earleys, whose dead end will be replaced by a roadway, are apprehensive about the project, which they believe will bring traffic, pollution and noise to their doorstep.
“I’m not used to looking when I pull out (of the driveway),” Kristen Earley said. “I'm afraid I'll forget that.”
In all, the project will cost an estimated $1.1 million, a substantial portion of which will come from a state grant.
The County Engineer's Office is putting in $32,700, which will go toward the widening of Middle Urbana to allow for new lanes directing traffic onto Montego.
The township is providing $97,300 in funding, while local developer Hoppes Builders is providing $162,500. Hoppes, which built the Northridge neighborhood, plans to develop the acreage opened up by the project.
Bids for the project will be opened on Tuesday, Feb. 24, at the township meeting. Mounts said he expects the selection process to last about a week.