By Linda Dillman
Canal Winchester is pursuing financing for the next phase in tweaking the Gender Road commercial corridor by renovating the intersection at Canal Street and Winchester Boulevard.
Public Works Director Matt Peoples said the city wants to apply for Ohio Public Works Commission funding for the project.
“We’ve been looking at a couple of things for quite some time,” Peoples told Canal Winchester City Council on Aug. 19 before turning the discussion over to engineer Shane Spencer.
Spencer said a number of intersections along Gender Road north of the railroad tracks were targeted and, while improvements for the intersection at Waterloo up to the U.S. 33 ramp were initially considered, they are only pursuing a grant/loan for Canal Street and Winchester Boulevard at this time.
“We have some physical limitations,” Spencer said when discussing the Canal Street intersection, which includes a large culvert. In addition, as part of a church construction project, Bigerton Bend will soon be connected to Canal Street.
Improvements to Canal Street include moving the bike lane east and away from the road, adding a right turn lane on the east side of the road and replacing the current signal system—all at an estimated cost of $600,000.
In addition, a right-turn lane would also be added to northbound Gender Road at Winchester Boulevard. The cost would be approximately $500,000 and is less than Canal Street because the improvements do not include a new traffic signal.
“We would see quite a bit of improvement there,” said Spencer.
While improvements from Waterloo to the ramp were discussed, the possibility of Ohio Department of Transportation pedestrian safety funding, which could help with OPWC fund ranking, pushed the project to the next application.
Spencer said it is not realistic to apply for ODOT safety funds at this time.
“As part of the OPWC process, we did a mock scoring and the project (Phase V) would have been funded in the last seven rounds,” said Peoples.
If approved by the OPWC, the city would receive $750,000 in the form of a loan and $250,000 in a grant. The remainder of the estimated $1.2 million project would come from the city.