Worthington will begin planning the widening and realignment of one of its most congested intersections -- now that leaders know federal funding is on the way.
The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission voted last week to award $7.09 million to the city for improvements at the intersection of Huntley, Worthington-Galena and Wilson Bridge roads.
It is one of 18 regional transportation projects that will receive more than $77 million in federal funds in 2014 and beyond.
City Manager Matt Greeson said he was pleased to learn of the funding, but emphasized that it will not cover the cost of the project.
"It's a large project we wouldn't take on without the availability of state and federal funding," Greeson said.
Worthington City Council probably will be asked to issue a request for proposal for the study and design of a solution to the congestion at the intersection this spring.
Only after the solution has been chosen, with design work and environmental studies completed, will federal funding kick in to help pay for right-of-way and construction costs.
The intersection is an important gateway into the city, Greeson said, and one that is very congested, especially during rush hour.
Traffic backs up in all directions, including at the nearby Sancus Boulevard and Worthington-Galena Road intersection, a part of which is in Columbus.
The project likely will include improvements to the entire area, since it makes no sense to improve the flow of traffic at one intersection only to have it come to a standstill down the road, Greeson said.
The project probably will be coordinated with Columbus, he said.
A traffic roundabout at the Huntley intersection is a possibility, although heavy truck traffic may complicate that decision, Greeson said.