By Rick Palsgrove
The traffic signal and intersection at South Hamilton Road and Firehouse Lane at Groveport Madison High School will be upgraded as the city of Groveport and the school district received an Ohio Public Works Commission grant to help fund the project.
According to Groveport City Administrator Marsha Hall, the estimated construction cost for the project is $443,099, plus $88,600 for engineering and $44,300 contingency, for a total cost of $575,999.
“The grant will save the city and school district quite a bit of money,” said Hall.
Hall said the OPWC grant is for $316,223. There is a no-interest loan that is the city’s responsibility for $120,176. She said the city will fund $57,600 plus the $120,176 loan for the project. Groveport Madison Schools will fund $62,000 of the project.
“Also, the Madison Township Fire Department will contribute $20,000 toward a traffic pre-emption system,” said Hall.
“We are very pleased to collaborate with the city of Groveport on this endeavor,” said Groveport Madison Schools Communications Director Jeff Warner. “With a total project cost nearing $600,000, the district’s share is just $62,000. This partnership will improve overall safety in the area and save the school district money from having to complete the upgrades on our own.”
Groveport Madison Treasurer John Walsh said the $62,000 are dollars that are part of the district’s Ohio Facilities Construction Commission high school construction project.
According to officials, the upgrades include: conversion of the traffic signal to a mast arm signal (sized for possible future left turn lane improvements if needed); crosswalk and crossing notification system for pedestrians having to wait in the center aisle of the intersection; and a sidewalk on the east side of South Hamilton Road/State Route 317 from the crosswalk to the COTA stop.
“Engineering is scheduled to take place in 2018 with construction in the spring of 2019,” said Hall. “We will determine if that timetable can be moved up.”
Warner said the upgrade of the intersection in front of the high school is important for not only the safety of the students and staff, but also for other motorists and pedestrians using or crossing South Hamilton Road.
“There is significant traffic on South Hamilton Road, particularly before school starts, at dismissal, and when local businesses experience shift changes,” said Warner. “The safety zone will decrease some of the congestion by adding a southbound lane from South Hamilton Road into the high school’s parking lot.”
Warner said the school safety zone will provide yellow warning flashers and signage to warn motorists of the school zone.
“During specific times, speeds will be reduced to 20 mph, further increasing motorist and pedestrian safety,” said Warner.
Warner said many students use mass transit to and from the school each day.
“The school safety zone upgrade provides safe access to the COTA bus drop-offs through the installation of crosswalks, sidewalks and handicap ramps,” said Warner.
When asked if there are plans to upgrade the traffic signal on South Hamilton Road/State Route 317 at Eastland Career Center, Hall said, “This is currently in our capital improvement plan for 2020.”
Hall said the OPWC rated the intersection project number one out of the 23 grant requests it received from around the state with only 12 projects receiving funding.
One of the rejected grant requests was the city of Groveport’s application for funding for Phase II of the $1.6 million West Bixby Road pavement rehabilitation project, which extends from approximately Madison Christian School to State Route 317.
“A number of factors determine how many projects are funded,” said Hall. “The projects are scored on a number of items. The total for the Bixby Road project was 206.3. The last project funded as part of the normal funds received 218.3 points.”