PDT Staff Writer
Spring Lane, as we know it, may be moving to a new location.
At Monday night’s Portsmouth City Council meeting, Mayor David Malone asked the Council to bring forward an ordinance to appropriate $3,450 for a traffic study at the corner of Argonne Road and U.S. 23, a study requested by King’s Daughters Medical Center.
During the course of the discussion, Malone made mention of possible plans by KDMC to move the current location of Spring Lane several blocks north.
“There is a plan through KDMC to present to the Planning Committee, for the next two phases of growth in that area, and one calls for Spring Lane to be moved further north and actually put a light there,” Malone said. “Spring Lane would be closed to traffic. There is a creation of another street in place of Spring Lane.”
“Would that be across from 21st Street?” Second Ward Councilman Rich Saddler asked.
“Yes, and again, that would be closer to Bertha,” Malone responded.
Saddler also asked if the street created by KDMC would be wider than the current Spring Lane, and Malone responded it was his understanding that it would. Saddler also brought up that the Portsmouth Fire Department and the Portsmouth Police Department had issues with the width of the Spring Lane area when it comes to maneuvering service vehicles such as fire trucks.
“They have already purchased all the homes, and they are ready to move forward,” Malone said. “They are planning to present to the Planning Committee at the next meeting next month.”
“I do want to advise Council that the residents of that area, all in my ward, are going to look at this, and wonder where the proposal is moving forward with the traffic light for Bertha (Avenue),” First Ward Councilman Kevin Johnson said. “This does not solve their problem. I was scheduled to have a meeting with KDMC tomorrow (Tuesday) but we had to reschedule, something came up. I’m going to be discussing that issue with them as well. They’re (KDMC) trying to improve their own relationships with the neighborhood, as they should.”
Johnson said once the residents of Argonne Road and the surrounding streets read about the plans, they would not react in a favorable manner, since they have seen no movement on their proposal to expedite traffic from the Argonne and Bertha area onto U.S. 23.
After the meeting, Malone talked with the Portsmouth Daily Times about what he knows about the KDMC growth plans.
“I don’t want to speak for KDMC, but in the information that I have received, they have purchased quite a bit of the property up Scioto Trail going north, and I don’t know how far up, but it is quite a bit up,” Malone said. “And what they are looking at is tearing down those houses, build a parking lot, and also constructing a new street - basically moving Spring Lane further north to accommodate the parking area to the facility. It’s somewhere between Pizza Hut and 21st Street. It might be a little further south or further north of that.”
Malone said Johnson’s concern may be answered by placement of a light at the new street, allowing the Argonne and Bertha traffic to have a street and a traffic light leading onto U.S. 23 (Scioto Trail).
King’s Daughters recently purchased numerous properties on Argonne Road and Scioto Trail for expansion
“We are investing in Portsmouth and we’re going to continue to do so,” Tom Dearing, Director of Communications and Marketing for King’s Daughters Medical Center said.
Dearing said the company is keeping the wraps on their plans for the time being, but said it would not be long before those plans would be made public.
“I can tell you our new expansion will open in February of 2013,” Dearing said. “We opened our Portsmouth facility in 2007, and since then, it has grown. We have added a third floor that opened up earlier this year. All of the expansion that is going on there would not be happening if the people of Portsmouth and Scioto County weren’t coming there. We’re very happy about it.”
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at email@example.com