Whitehall News

Section of South Hamilton

Whitehall hopes for state's help in resurfacing 1-mile stretch

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Whitehall officials like the city's chances in obtaining a grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission to pay for three-fourths of the cost of the resurfacing South Hamilton Road between East Broad and East Main streets.

If approved, the project would not begin until late next year or early 2015.

"We feel we have a pretty good shot at it," Whitehall service director Ray Ogden said.

Applications are due Sept. 16, but the Ohio Public Works Commission won't score applications until December, said Ryan Andrews, a project manager for EMH&T, an engineering and planning firm that is assisting in the grant application.

If approved in December, the city is not expected to receive a funding agreement until June 2014.

Ogden and Andrews outlined the application process during the Sept. 3 meeting of Whitehall City Council.

The repaving of South Hamilton Road would be one of many grant applications the Ohio Public Works Commission would receive.

Repaving projects aren't always the highest-scoring applications, but based on the sheer volume of traffic that South Hamilton Road carries, "it should score better than some other similar projects," Ogden said.

In the past few years, Whitehall has benefited from OPWC grants that improved Mayflower Boulevard and Rosemore Avenue.

If approved, the grant will pay 75 percent of the estimated $1.8 million to resurface South Hamilton Road. Whitehall would pay the 25 percent local match, which could be extended at no interest spread over the estimated 17-year life span of the project, Ogden said.

South Hamilton Road was repaved in 2004, but the curb lanes were repaved in 2009, using permissive-tax revenue derived from annual vehicle registrations.

"The curb lanes were deteriorated," Ogden said, adding that insufficient crowning, or curvature, of the road surface allowed for water to seep between the pavement and the curb, and recurring freezes and thaws prematurely cracked the pavement.

A high volume of heavy truck traffic, cement trucks from nearby Anderson Concrete and COTA buses in the curb lane also have damaged the surface, Ogden said.

The project would include some "full-depth repairs," meaning the surface is milled to the base and rebuilt, as opposed to only resurfacing a weakened foundation, Ogden said.

Spot work would be done on curbs, and bus pads would be installed at the COTA bus stops along South Hamilton Road.

Ogden said he chose to limit the proposal to the 1-mile section of South Hamilton Road, between East Broad Street and East Main Street, to maximize its score in the grant review process.

If approved, the city's three arterial roads will be resurfaced.

East Broad Street was resurfaced in 2011, and an Ohio Department of Transportation project to resurface all of East Main Street in Whitehall is near completion.

"It will be nice not to worry about any of those roads for about the next 10 years," Ogden said.

In other action during the Sept. 3 council meeting, council approved the expenditure of $12,500, the maximum liability amount for the city, rendered to a woman who was injured while being transported by Whitehall medics.

The wheel of a gurney was stuck in uneven pavement and the woman fell to the ground.

The case was settled without going to court, and the city agreed, based "on a moral obligation," to compensate the woman the maximum amount possible without involving the city's insurer, city attorney Mike Shannon said.

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