New Albany hopes to receive federal funding to upgrade its traffic signals in an effort to improve traffic flow and, ultimately, air quality.

New Albany hopes to receive federal funding to upgrade its traffic signals in an effort to improve traffic flow and, ultimately, air quality.

Village council unanimously approved a resolution Oct. 19 to file a grant application to be considered for the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program, which is jointly administered by the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration.

Service director Mark Nemec told council the funds would be used to install a system through the village's fiber network that would link the traffic signals into a master control at the service facility on Bevelhymer Road. Service department employees could monitor traffic flow in the village and adjust traffic signals from the master control, if needed.

"We're trying to make the signals smarter," Nemec said.

The village also would evaluate current signal operation and make adjustments, install traffic monitoring cameras and upgrading the existing pedestrian signals.

The project's cost is estimated at $978,600.

"If we do get the grant, it would pay 100 percent of the construction costs," Nemec said. "We would only pay for engineering."

The estimated engineering cost is $121,500.

The grant would also pay for the projected three-year maintenance costs at $465,000.

The Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program is used to "fund transportation projects or programs that will contribute to attainment or maintenance of the national air-quality standards for ozone, carbon monoxide and particulate matter," according to village administrator Joseph Stefanov's report to council.

The federal funds, which will be made available between 2012 and 2019, would be distributed through the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission.

Nemec said a second phase of the project could include linking the village's traffic signal controls with neighboring jurisdictions, such as Columbus, Gahanna and Westerville, which would provide better traffic flow throughout the area.

That phase would be part of Columbus' traffic signal system expansion and modernization, which is proposed for construction in 2016, according to Stefanov's report.

Columbus would apply for the grant, but the village would be a co-applicant. As in the current grant application, the federal funds would be requested to pay for construction, estimated at $625,000 and the local governments would be required to pay any associated engineering costs. Nemec estimated the village's engineering costs at $8,000 for the second phase.

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