The city of Grandview Heights is in line to receive additional funding for a project to connect the city's traffic signals with Columbus' computerized signal system.

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission announced Dec. 18 its Attributable Funding Committee has recommended approval of Grandview's application for an increase in federal transportation dollars the project will receive through MORPC.

In 2015, MORPC awarded Grandview $730,644 for the project that will connect traffic signals throughout the city with signals in Columbus and three other communities, with the purpose of improving traffic flow.

"After we started our initial engineering for the project, we ran into some right-of-way problems," said Patrik Bowman, the city's director of administration/economic development.

"The sensors from our system and theirs have to talk to each other and they either do so by radio frequency or by stringing fiber-optic wires on poles," Bowman said.

Grandview plans to use fiber-optic cable, he said.

The issue was that some of the poles the city planned to use were not in the public right of way, Bowman said.

Grandview is opting to place some of the wires underground, which will increase the cost of the project, said Nick Gill, assistant transportation director for MORPC.

The AFC has recommending boosting the funding for Grandview to $1,341,493.

"It's a significant increase," Bowman said. "The funding will pay the entire cost of our project."

Grandview is one of five communities receiving funding from MORPC for the project to connect their traffic signals and allow the signals to be controlled via computer.

The other communities are Bexley, Columbus, New Albany and Whitehall.

Although the expectation is that each community would control its own signals, the connection among stoplights would allow the signals to coordinate with each other depending on current traffic conditions, Gill said.

"It should help, especially during peak traffic times, with traffic flow," Bowman said. "This will help reduce the situations where a motorist gets a green light only to have to stop for a red light at the next intersection."

The signal improvements will be especially beneficial at busy traffic signals on Northwest Boulevard, Yard Street, Bobcat Avenue and First Avenue, he said.

All of Grandview's traffic signals are planned to be connected except for the signal at Second and Grandview avenues.

The participating communities each were awarded grant money for the project in 2015, Gill said.

The AFC has recommended additional funding for both Grandview and Whitehall. Whitehall's grant would increase from $1,426,250 to $3,121,388.

In all, MORPC announced Dec. 18 the AFC has recommended awarding several central Ohio transportation projects more than $21 million in federal funds from state fiscal years 2020-25.

MORPC will accept public comment through Jan. 18 on projects that include:

* Upgrades of the intersections of state Route 161 and Maple Canyon Avenue and of Parkville Street and Spring Run Drive: $894,250.

* Concrete bus-pad upgrades: $901,410.

* Fishinger Road reconstruction from Riverside Drive to 400 feet west of Mountview Road: $3 million.

* Olentangy Trail from Clinton Como Park to Northmoor Place, multiuse path and bridges: $3.45 million.

* First-/last-mile service for Central Ohio Transit Authority: $946,400.

* Preproject development for two COTA transit corridors: $960,000.

Copies of the draft listings are available by calling MORPC at 614-228-2663. They also can be viewed at tinyurl.com/yctldjbo.

Questions about proposed projects can be submitted in writing by 5 p.m. Jan. 17 to Thea Walsh, director of transportation systems and funding, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, 111 Liberty St., Suite 100, Columbus 43215, or by email to tip@morpc.org.

Other MORPC committees will review the funding proposals before the commission considers final approval March 14, Gill said.

"It's almost certain that the funding for Grandview and the other projects will be approved based on the AFC recommendation," he said.

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