Watch a previous report on Intel’s impact on Licking County in the video player above.
JERSEY TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WCMH) — For the Licking County residents living closest to the site of the eventual Intel semiconductor fabrication plant, summer 2023 has been partly defined by the color orange.
Road construction has taken over a number of regional and local roads, as central Ohio prepares for the Intel plant and other proposed economic growth east of Columbus. Traffic flaggers are a regular sight, one nearby resident said.
Ohio Department of Transportation crews began long-term construction on State Route 161 in July. The east-west highway will get an additional lane in each direction and wider bridges from its intersection with Interstate 270 to its intersection with U.S. 62.
The new lanes should be ready by November 2024, according to ODOT, with the project scheduled to be fully finished in August 2025. Drivers may, over the next year, encounter short-term detours due to the project at a number of exits along SR 161.
Significant construction has also been underway for months on Mink Street, Clover Valley Road, Jug Street, and Harrison Road, according to the city of New Albany’s website.
A roundabout is being built at the intersection of Green Chapel Road and Mink Street, which closed to through traffic two weeks ago. Construction should finish in about two weeks, by Aug. 23, according to the city.
Part of Clover Valley Road is closed for the time being, too — including at the intersection of Clover Valley and Miller Road. That intersection will be closed through at least September as it is converted to a four-way stop, the city said.
Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission Executive Director William Murdock said earlier that the semiconductor megaproject kicked some road projects that were already in the planning stages into gear. “What Intel does has not changed the trajectory. It just makes it a little more urgent,” Murdock said in February.
An ODOT spokesperson said the Intel announcement “accelerated” its work on SR 161.
In July, Gov. Mike DeWine announced an additional $90 million in funding for roadways — much of it dedicated to reconstruction and safety enhancements on roads in Franklin, Licking and Delaware counties near where Intel is building its New Albany hub.