Pickerington officials will apply for two state grants Oct. 1 to improve drainage on Long Road and add amenities for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians.

Pickerington officials will apply for two state grants Oct. 1 to improve drainage on Long Road and add amenities for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians.

City engineer Greg Bachman was expected to submit applications this week for a $100,000 Ohio Department of Transportation "Safe Walks to Schools" grant to add bicycle lanes and sidewalks on both sides of Long Road.

Additionally, Bachman will seek an $800,000 grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission to help pay to lower the road in order to improve drainage and to install curbs.

If both grants come through, they would allow the city to make Long Road a "complete street," he said.

"The project would add sidewalks that are needed near Pickerington Elementary School," Bachman said. "The sidewalks and bicycle lanes would improve connectivity to the new Diley Road multi-use trail.

"The project (also) would correct ongoing drainage problems in the area."

Bachman said Long Road currently is an older "country road."

The award of both grants would help the city bring it up to date so it could meet more recent construction standards.

The total cost of the work is estimated at $1.14-million.

In addition to the prospective grants, the city would be required to provide $240,000 for the project, which would come from Pickerington's stormwater utility fund.

"No city general fund money would be used for the project," Bachman said. "This would entirely be a city of Pickerington project.

"The project would be done in the summer of 2012," he said.

If Pickerington is unsuccessful in landing either grant, however, the project won't proceed because local officials have said the city can't afford to fund the bulk of the work.

Bachman said the city should take a shot at the grants, but he isn't convinced Pickerington will land both of them. He said the city's current budget constraints could negatively affect its candidacy.

"Receiving the OPWC grant is a long shot because to score well, the city would need to contribute more matching money to the project," he said. "The city only has available a small percentage of matching funds.

"This may lead to us not scoring high enough to get the grant."