The city of Powell will use more than $1 million in federal grant money to help cover improvements to one of its most important thoroughfares.

A portion of Sawmill Parkway between Seldom Seen and Home roads will be targeted for improvements, including resurfacing and upgrades to the road's catch basins, curbs and gutters.

The bike path that runs along Sawmill Parkway also will be resurfaced and repaired.

Much of the infrastructure was built in the early 2000s during the development of Golf Village.

"It's coming up on being almost 20 years old and it's the main artery through Powell," city spokesperson Megan Canavan said. "The bike paths are beginning to show their age. They may need to have certain sections cut out and removed."

The $1.29 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation is expected to cover the majority of the project's total estimated cost of around $1.6 million.

The remaining portion will be paid by Powell.

City Council voted unanimously May 15 to spend $85,405 for engineering and surveying services related to the project. The city will contract with EMH&T for the work.

Construction isn't expected to start until 2020, city Engineer Chris Huber said.

"There's a lot of processes to follow up with," Huber said. "There's a mix of everything on this project, from environmental (concerns) to right-of-way clearances."

Powell currently spends about $500,000 annually on infrastructure improvements and will set aside a portion of that for the Sawmill Parkway project, Canavan said.

This marks the first significant federal grant the city has received since 2012, when it was awarded money to add solar panels to the police carport and pavilion at the Village Green, Canavan said.

Federal grants often require municipalities to have matching funds available, "and oftentimes the city does not have the matching funds necessary," Canavan said.

"We do not receive very many grants for projects in Powell," she said.

The next Powell City Council meeting is set for 7:30 p.m. June 4 at the Village Green Municipal Building, 47 Hall St.

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