The city of Springfield has plans to spend about $4.4 million in grant and local money on four road projects, including widening and adding a turn lane to a narrow, congested street.
The projects will repair sections of Middle Urbana and Burnett roads, and Grand and Belmont avenues.
The largest project — Middle Urbana Road — will cost about $1.9 million and is expected to begin in July 2017 at the earliest. The project will widen the two-lane Middle Urbana Road, adding a center turn lane from Villa Road to Ohio 334.
About 6,500 cars per day use the roadway, according to Clark County-Springfield Transportation Coordinating Committee traffic counts. The number of businesses, churches, senior living facilities and schools, such Emmanuel Christian Academy, as well as the traffic counts are what prompted city officials to change the street.
Dan Bragg, superintendent at Emmanuel Christian Academy, located off of Middle Urbana Road, was happy to hear about the project, especially as the school continues to grow.
It has about 530 students in kindergarten through 12th grades and expects to have about 550 next year. The school has 10 to 12 buses on site throughout the day, and also has parents dropping off and picking up children.
“We create some congestion in some spots on a normal day,” Bragg said. “We see this as really wonderful.”
Bragg said the school is in the early stages of an expansion that will happen in the next few years.
“We’re all about growth,” Bragg said. “We want to serve as many people as possible. A thing like a wider road is something we’re really thankful for.”
Bruce Ludlow, office administrator and men’s minister for First Christian Church, 3638 Middle Urbana Road, also was glad to hear of the changes. The church hires a police officer on Sundays to direct traffic for their patrons. They have three services in the morning and another in the evening, with an average attendance of 2,300 every Sunday.
“We don’t want to impact traffic any more than we have to,” Ludlow said.
He believes it will be beneficial to have a turn lane.
“If you look at the growth at the northern end of Clark County, any time the engineers are looking at it and making recommendations is a good thing for the community,” Ludlow said.
Of the four projects, the city will have to pay for about $880,000 with local dollars, or about 20 percent of the costs. The Ohio Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration will pay for the rest, about $3.5 million.
City Engineer Leo Shanayda said previous federal funding models paid for 100 percent of costs, but the recent federal highway transportation bill reverted funding back to 80 percent of the costs with local matching dollars.
“We’ve got to come up with 20 percent,” Shanayda said. “That’s our hurdle.”
Shanayda hopes to pay for the city’s remaining costs with other grants. If outside sources can’t be secured, he said the city will have to use its money.
The first phase of the Belmont Avenue reconstruction project could begin in the summer of 2015. The $1.1 million project will shave down and repave Belmont Avenue from Lagonda Avenue to Main Street, as well as improvements to the intersections. About 5,000 to 7,000 cars drive this stretch of road every day, according to TCC traffic counts.
Burnett Road will be repaired in the summer of 2016. The $1.1 million project will shave down and repave the roadway from Columbus Avenue to High Street, as well as improvements to intersections. The roadway sees between 3,000 and 7,000 cars per day.
In July 2014, Grand Avenue will get a face lift. The $632,500 project will pulverize the existing road and make handicap access improvements on Grand Avenue from Limestone Street to Yellow Springs Street, which sees between 1,000 and 2,000 cars per day.
In July 2015, ODOT will begin the process of repairing bridges on U.S. 68 — including St. Paris Pike, Eagle City Road and the northbound and southbound bridges over Mad River — at no cost to the city.
This year, the city will convert a section of Fountain Avenue between Main and Columbia from one-way to two-way traffic as part of the $1 million streetscape project, paid for by federal earmarks during U.S. Rep. David Hobson’s last term in office.
The project was set to begin in May, but the costs came in over the engineer’s estimates and must be rebid. The city hopes to award the project on April 30 and begin construction on June 1.
Also this year, the city will use $190,000 from the Ohio Public Works Commission to pay for shaving and repaving Home Road from Fountain Avenue to the bridge overlooking the multi-use trail. The project, set to begin in July, is estimated to cost about $380,000 with remaining money coming from the city’s permanent improvement fund.
By the Numbers
$4.4 million: Estimated cost of four road projects
$880,000: City’s estimated share of the cost for the four projects
6,500: Average numbers of cars that daily drive on Middle Urbana Road between Villa Road and Ohio 334.
The Springfield News-Sun provides in-depth coverage of road projects — such as the delayed Interstate 70 widening and plans for an Ohio 235 roundabout — that focus on public safety and track the spending of taxpayer dollars.