Grove City officials are looking for a repeat of their past success in securing Ohio Public Works Commission funds for a road project.

The city will submit an application later this month seeking state funds for improvements of Southwest Boulevard from Hoover Road to Richard Avenue.

The project will include pavement reconstruction, installation of Americans with Disabilities Act compliant curb ramps and updates to the storm-water system.

"The pavement in the project area is deteriorating," said Cindi Fitzpatrick, director of service. "It's a heavily traveled roadway, with The Big Splash, Brookpark Middle School and Richard Avenue Elementary (School) all nearby."

This section of Southwest was last resurfaced in 2000, she said.

The average daily traffic count on Southwest Boulevard is 10,084 vehicles, Fitzpatrick said.

As part of the project, the city will consider options for improving the efficiency of the intersection of Southwest Boulevard and Richard Avenue, she said.

"Right now it's a four-way stop, but we will be looking at other ways, perhaps a traffic light or a roundabout, that could make that intersection safer for motorists," Fitzpatrick said.

The project's total cost is estimated to be between $2.5 and $3 million, Fitzpatrick said.

"We really wouldn't be able to include the project as part of our annual street maintenance program," she said. "Our total annual budget for street maintenance is between $2 and $3 million, which would mean this would be the only project we would be able to do for the entire year."

Given that, the city will be seeking funds from the OPWC's Local Transportation Improvement Program, which provides grant money for road and bridge projects and State Capital Improvement Program which offers both grant and loans for roads, bridges, water supply, wastewater treatment, storm-water collection and solid-waste disposal.

"We are still evaluating exactly what breakdown of funding we will apply for, but it will likely be 25 percent loan and 75 percent grant," Fitzpatrick said.

Although the city likely will seek enough funding to pay the entire cost, it would be required to repay a SCIP loan within 30 years, she said.

The size of a request is one criteria considered in OPWC's District 3, which covers Franklin County, said Jennifer Kline, program representative for District 3.

Grove City will apply for funds in Round 33 of the small government funding program.

"We evaluate applications using a scoring system," Kline said. "The more money you're asking for, the lower number of points you get."

Each district has its own criteria and scoring system, she said.

In District 3, "we prioritize projects that involve repair and replacement over new installations," Kline said.

Other criteria include the condition of the roadway and infrastructure, if the project is located in a low-income area, the average daily traffic count and if accidents have occurred on the road, she said.

About $26 million LTIP and SCIP funds will be available this year in District 3, Kline said.

Applications for Round 33 must be submitted by Monday, Sept. 10.

Grove City Council was expected to pass a resolution at its Sept. 4 meeting authorizing the city to file an application.

"We're hopeful our application will be successful," Fitzpatrick said. "We were able to use OPWC funding for projects on Orders Road in 2015 and Gantz Road in 2016-17."

OPWC's Round 33 awards will be announced in December, she said.

If its application is successful, the city would receive the funding in July 2019 and the Southwest Boulevard project would begin during the second half of 2019, Fitzpatrick said.

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