Pickerington Times-Sun

City seeks grant to pay its share of Rt. 256 project

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Always on the lookout for available grant opportunities to help fund roadway projects, Pickerington City Engineer Scott Tourville said he hopes one such prospect can bear fruit in conjunction with the city's upcoming state Route 256 Safety Project.

Tourville was tipped off by one of his consultants about an Ohio Public Works Commission grant that would cover a large chunk of the local match for resurfacing work for areas outside the state Route 256 Safety Project limits.

"This consultant has helped numerous communities in the area win millions of dollars in grants and low interest loans and is working with us in an attempt to win grant funds for the resurfacing project," Tourville said.

Pickerington City Council unanimously passed emergency legislation Sept. 18 authorizing City Manager Bill Vance to apply for the OPWC grant.

If successful, the grant would provide the city with $200,000 towards the estimated $285,000 local match for the resurfacing project.

"(The Ohio Department of Transportation) has agreed to resurface SR 256 in 2015 in conjunction with the safety improvement project," Tourville said.

"The resurfacing project is the portion of 256 that is outside the safety project limits," he said.

Tourville said the cost for the resurfacing work is estimated at about $1.3 to $1.5 million, and the city would be responsible for about 20 percent of that amount.

Tourville said the deadline is Oct. 4 for the competitive application process.

"Projects are broken down by type and location," he said.

"We are in a district that does not include Franklin County," said Tourvile.

He said the grant the city is applying for is actually a combination of a 75-percent grant and a 25-percent loan.

"We feel that gives us the best chance to receive funds rather than a 100-percent grant," Tourville said.

"If we are successful, the savings to the city for this project can be used to fund other roadway repairs and improvements," he said.

The state Route 256 Safety Project, slated to start in 2015, will be a major overhaul of Pickerington's busiest corridor in terms of traffic congestion.

That project, expected to cost $6.8 million with $6 million in funding provided by ODOT, will involve improvements to Route 256 from Interstate 70 to the Kroger/Giant Eagle traffic signal.

Tourville said the latest OPWC grant application would allow the city to resurface an additional stretch of 256 just north of Diley Road to the east corporation limit, near the city's Community Gardens.

That resurfacing work would also include what Tourville said is a very short section of 256 at I-70.

Altogether, ODOT will resurface a total of 8.34 lane miles on 256 as part of the urban paving program.

Tourville said even if the city doesn't secure the grant, the resurfacing project will be done in 2015. However, the city would be responsible for the full match.

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