On Sept. 13, Upper Arlington City Council authorized City Manager Virginia Barney to make application to MORPC for potential federal funding for a long-proposed Zollinger/Ackerman Road Connector.

On Sept. 13, Upper Arlington City Council authorized City Manager Virginia Barney to make application to MORPC for potential federal funding for a long-proposed Zollinger/Ackerman Road Connector.

The UAACC board of directors voted to support council's action at its September board meeting and wanted to share with members how it came to this decision.

First of all, the board viewed this as an opportunity to achieve precious funding for a long needed piece of community infrastructure.

The city council action is only the first of many steps in the potential completion of the connector. The project will be ranked and prioritized against other regional applications in the coming months. If it makes the regional priority list in 2011, funding would be made available no earlier than 2016. Design work would proceed in the coming years.

If funded, the intended two-lane boulevard could receive as much as 80-percent of the estimated funding necessary. That's a significant portion of an approximately $6,000,000 project.

The board viewed this request and found there were several points of value.

Of highest priority was accessibility. Opening this road supports the goals of both the city and The Ohio State University's framework plan. Both entities understand the need for access to and from state Route 315.

Opening up this connector helps to relieve future congestion at the Lane interchange as OSU develops its technology area on West Campus between Lane and Kinnear.

Offering UA residents alternative routes balances the capacities of the interchanges. OSU has expressed support for the project as it runs across university property.

OSU has also stated that no additional development is envisioned on the land abutting the property.

The Zollinger Connector also provides a more direct route to Kingsdale. This helps customers get to these stores and restaurants, increasing their viability. Direct access also makes the proposed 104,000 square feet of Class A office more desirable in the regional office market. The board also noted that both Columbus and Upper Arlington designed their roadway networks with the intent of making this connection and that other collector roads within the community successfully support abutting residential development, most noteworthy being Northwest Boulevard and McCoy Roads.

It's for these reasons the chamber board passed a board resolution to support the grant process and will continue to play an active role in the development of the Zollinger Connector should the project get ranked for future funding.