About $10 million in federal money will be available to local governments for traffic improvement projects between 2018 and 2021.
The Clark County-Springfield Transportation Coordinating Committee is accepting applications for the next Transportation Improvement Program cycle, Director Scott Schmid said.
The TIP is a planning document completed every two years that lists all federal transportation projects for the Springfield metropolitan area over the next four years. The document includes a variety of traffic projects, including roads, bridges, transit, railroad and trail improvements, among others. The money can be used for thoroughfares and collector streets, but cannot be used for neighborhood street repairs, Schmid said.
The TCC receives about $3 million annually from the federal government for road projects. Every two years, the organization accepts applications for new projects from local governments, Schmid said. The projects must meet federal standards and are graded by the TCC staff, Schmid said. They’re later approved by the TCC board, he said.
“We want to make sure we’re putting forth the best projects we receive,” Schmid said.
Applications for projects for the upcoming cycle are due Wednesday, Schmid said. Once the applications are received, a public meeting will be held in September to allow residents to view the projects.
The TCC typically receives about 10 to 20 applications each cycle, the majority of which comes from Springfield and Clark County, he said. Enon and New Carlisle have also had funding approved in the past, Schmid said.
“We’ve made an effort to try to fund every project we get,” Schmid said. “We encourage every (application) we can get.”
Of the 11 projects approved during the last cycle, 10 were fully funded, Schmid said. The Bechtle roundabout project was approved by TCC, but was later rejected by the Springfield City Commission.
If the money isn’t spent, it can be sent to a different part of the state. For the roundabout project, the money was divided between the city and county for other projects, Schmid said.
Some of the money for this cycle is already being used for upcoming projects from the previous cycle, including repairs to Springfield-Xenia Road and Belmont Ave., Schmid said.
The program has a big role in the way Springfield repairs roads, City Engineer Leo Shanayda said.
“It’s less city funds we have to use,” Shanayda said.
The city will perform several projects in upcoming years using no city money, including about $580,000 in repairs to Burnett Road between High Street and Columbus Ave., he said. New curb ramps were recently completed, Shanayda said, and repaving is expected to begin in late September. Springfield typically uses Ohio Public Works Commission money for TIP projects that require a local match, he said.
The city is still putting together applications for the upcoming cycle, Shanayda said. Other projects from the previous cycle include repairs to changes to the signals on Bechtle Ave. and East Main Street, design of the Bechtle Ave. Bridge and the creation of a sidewalk on North Murray Street.
“There are different ways we’ve used the funding in years past,” Shanayda said.
The Little Miami Trail project was also completed using money from the program, Shanayda said. It’s expected to be completed next month. A ribbon-cutting will be held Sept. 9 at Beatty Station.
“We’re excited about getting that open,” Shanayda said.
Shanayda encourages public involvement during the TIP process. The Bechtle roundabout project was listed on the TIP document two years ahead of time, but no one commented until the primary design phase began, he said.
“The public didn’t want it so we stopped the project,” Shanayda said.
Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.