Thanks to a grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission, nearly half of Westerville's upcoming Spring Road reconstruction project will be funded by the state.
On Jan. 4, the commission announced the recipients of more than $28 million in funding that would come from its State Capital Improvements Program and the Local Transportation Improvements Program for 2018, in conjunction with the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission.
As part of the State Capital Improvements Program, Westerville received nearly $2 million in a combination grant and loan from the state, which will go toward the $4.3 million reconstruction project.
The project, still in its planning phases, will reconstruct Spring Road between Walnut Street and Schrock Road over two phases in 2019 and 2020, according to city spokeswoman Christa Dickey.
Dickey said securing the funding is consistent with the city's attempts to fund many of its larger projects through outside sources.
"Just like the city did with the Cleveland Avenue roadway improvement project, and Sunbury Road improvements before that, a significant portion of this project will be funded through the efforts of staff seeking out grant opportunities," she said.
"The capacity and safety improvements on Cleveland Avenue are nearly fully funded through state and federal grants. The Spring Road reconstruction project will be half-funded by this award. Ultimately, the city is working hard to pair smart funding strategies to projects that have an impact on nearly everyone in our community."
Ronni Nimps, an associate engineer in MORPC's transportation systems funding department, said funding applications were reviewed for "a number of factors," including public safety, public health, the number of people affected by a project and whether the project has multiple funding sources. She said 25 projects requested funding, and 14 were chosen.
"There's a lot of demand," she said. "It's very competitive."
Nimps said cities like Westerville, which attempt to secure funding from as many sources as possible, have an even better chance of receiving funding from those sources.
"That's always a help, to see that they've pursued other options and reached out to as many people as possible to make (a project) happen," she said.
Dickey said residents can keep up-to-date on the Spring Road project's timeline at westerville.org.