Pickerington has applied for an Ohio Public Works Commission grant to help fund the city's West Columbus Street Improvement Project, an estimated $750,00 project that will add bike lanes,curbs and sidewalks on both sides of West Columbus Street from Hill Road South to Seven Pines Drive.
According to Pickerington City Engineer Greg Bachman, the project will "widen West Columbus Street between Seven Pines Drive and Hill Road South.
"Also included in the project is the replacement of the 50-year old, functionally obsolete bridge culvert that carries Willow Run under W. Columbus Street," Bachman said.
City Council approved the application at its Oct. 2 meeting with a 7-0 vote.
Bachman said the purpose of the project is to improve safety for all users of West Columbus Street.
"The bridge culvert needs to be replaced for vehicular safety," he said.
"The bike lanes are needed to allow cyclists to have enough pavement to safely travel this section of road.
"The sidewalks are needed for pedestrians to safely walk to Olde Pickerington and schools such as Ridgeview Jr. High and Pickerington Central High School."
Bachman said the city received a federal "Safe Routes to School" grant in April of this year for $30,000. He said that in order to make the project financially feasible, the city is hoping they receive the OPWC grant.
"We should hear whether we get the grant in early 2013," Bachman said. "If we get the grant, design on the project will be done in 2013, with construction in 2014."
He said the OPWC grant would pay for the majority of the work.
"We are applying for a $550,000 OPWC grant," Bachman said.
"$30,000 would come from the (Safe Routes to School) grant. The bridge culvert is the responsibility of the Fairfield County Engineer.
"The County Engineer, Jeremy Upps, has committed $60,000 for the bride/culvert portion of the project. So that leaves the city of Pickerington to come up with $110,000. The final figures, of course, (would) be dependent on actual bid prices," Bachman said.
Bachman said he expects W. Columbus Street to be closed, probably for two to three weeks, during the bridge culvert construction and other construction will warrant lane restrictions.
He said the overall plan is to widen Columbus from Hill Road all the way to Diley Road.
"This would connect the Diley Road bike path to downtown Pickerington," Bach-man said.
"The long-term plan is to have a bike and pedestrian route from Pickerington Ponds Metro Park to Diley Road to downtown Pickerington and to Baltimore, via the existing bike lanes on state Route 256 east of Pickerington."