By Linda Dillman
Seven years ago, the extensive upgrade of the Gender Road corridor included improvements to the Gender/Groveport Road intersection, but state funding was not in the picture.
The scenario has changed and the Ohio Public Works Commission is now providing funding for the next phase of the multi-year corridor project.
According to Canal Winchester’s Public Service Director Matt Peoples, the project is estimated at $2.4 million. Because the city was the last in line for Issue II support during the funding round, it was awarded $2.15 million.
“Of that, 45 percent is in the form of a grant and 55 percent is a loan. The remaining $263,714—the amount we were not funded—will have to come from the city,” said Peoples. “Our project was the last one to be funded and there wasn’t enough funding left from the projects above ours to fully fund ours. If funding from previous rounds is returned to OPWC then those funds will be directed to closing the gap in funding our project.”
Increased traffic congestion at the intersection, especially during the morning and evening rush times, prompted the push for renovation.
Lanes will be added on southbound Gender Road, and on eastbound and westbound Groveport Road. Drainage improvements, new mast arm traffic signals at both Gender/Groveport roads and Gender/Walnut roads and repaving from the railroad tracks to the school property are also included, as well as a new emergency signalization system.
Madison Township partnered with Canal Winchester in an effort to garner more points for the project. Initially, the township was told its portion of the project could be as high as $140,000. However, due to an incorrect formula for OPWC partnership criteria used by the city to calculate the amount, the township is now responsible for approximately $25,000.
Madison Township Fire Chief Robert Bates said the Groveport/Gender Road intersection project includes expanded technology improving emergency signal tripping based on GPS.
“This is worthy going forward, but it will be a little bit of painful construction,” said Bates.
Peoples said the updated signal pre-emption system will be the biggest benefit for the fire department—which has a station near the intersection—and it will also benefit from a decrease in traffic congestion.
Since there was a shortfall in funding, Peoples said Canal Winchester City Council plans to discuss the issue during its Feb. 21 work session to ensure they were still on board with the commitment before incurring any design costs.
“Bidding will be in early winter and construction will start by March, 2018,” said Peoples. “There will be lane closures, but we do not expect any full street closures.”
This is great news! Good job Canal Winchester administration!