Bexley plans College Avenue renovations
The city of Bexley will apply for an Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) Grant to renovate College Avenue.
The poor-quality pavement cannot handle the 10,000 vehicles that travel the street every year, Service Director Bill Harvey said at an Aug. 25 meeting.
Under the street, the water line also needs replaced, said Dave Koch of Koch Engineering.
Koch's company currently is reconstructing the streets and water lines of Sheridan and Francis avenues with money granted from the state.
Each of the last few winters, Bexley has repaired three water main breaks on College Avenue, and organic build-up in the pipe has affected water flow and quality, Koch said.
The estimated cost of the project, which also includes replacing streetlights and enhancing crosswalks, would be $2.5 million.
Bexley and Koch would apply for a $1.1 million grant and a $1.1 million interest-free loan, Harvey said.
The city would pay for the remaining $300,000 from its general fund and Bexley's water fund would repay the loan over approximately 25 years, Harvey said.
Each time the water main breaks it costs around $10,000 to repair it. As the pipes get older the breaks will increase in frequency and the price will increase until the main cannot be patched at all, Koch said.
"To me this is a great deal for the community," Harvey said. "As a resident one way or another we are going to spend money over 30 years. We may as well pay now."
The city proposes upsizing the current water main from six to eight inches between Livingston and Astor, and increasing the diameter to 12 inches from Astor to Main Street along Capital University's campus.
The increased flow would enable the fire departments to use multiple hydrants to fight a blaze and a new pipe would carry cleaner drinking water, Koch said.
Despite city efforts to flush the main, a thick, black, oily biological build-up coats the water line - effectively limiting the flow to the equivalent of a four-inch line, Koch said.
The biological coating removes chlorine, so that many areas of southwest Bexley have no residual chlorine in their drinking water. In the past, the EPA has cited Bexley for this problem, Koch said.
With the new main, water flow would improve, but residents would not experience a change in water pressure. Pressure is determined by the height of the water tower not the width of the main, Koch said.
"Flow is how many lanes on the highway," Koch explained. "Pressure is how many miles per hour."
The city has asked community members to submit letters supporting the grant application to city hall before the end of August. Capital is also expected to submit a letter, Koch said.
OPWC will rank Bexley's request among others it receives from municipalities in the local district, then money will be granted in order of need until OPWC has exhausted the $9 million it has been allotted by the state capital improvements budget.
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