MOUNT VERNON — Driving on Coshocton Road from Sychar Road east you won’t see anything happening, but work has started on the next phase of improvements to the road.
Attention is centered on the area from the bridge over Center Run almost to Shalimar Drive, where sidewalks will be added in addition to the road being widened.
Ohio Department of Transportation employees are contacting property owners along the route to obtain the easements and right-of-way needed to widen the road, build the sidewalks and install a storm sewer. Most of the property needed is on the north side of the road, where houses are set well back from the street.
However, Jason Sturgeon, design engineer for ODOT District 5, said some small pieces are needed here and there for the sewer easement, temporary construction access of rebuilding drive entrances. The sidewalk on the south side of the street will be entirely within the existing right-of-way.
ODOT District 5 Real Estate Administrator Laura Philabaum said they are only part way through the property acquisition phase, which is expected to take until mid-December, but so far it has gone well.
She emphasized that they are following the requirements of the Federal Highway Administration and Ohio law governing the property and easement acquisitions.
Philabaum explained that ODOT is doing this phase of the work for the city under the terms of the project agreement, but no city employees will be contacting the landowners.