By Dedra Cordle
The Ohio Public Works Commission recently announced it would be accepting funding requests for road and infrastructure improvements through two of its most popular programs – the state capital improvement program and the local transportation improvement program. Among the hundreds of municipalities throughout the state who will be vying for funds include Jackson Township.
At its meeting in early August, the board of trustees gave its approval for the administrator to request funding through the local transportation improvement project to repair two of its most well-traveled, and well-worn, roads.
According to Township Administrator Shane Farnsworth, the township will go after “any available funds” to resurface Brown Road and Dyer Road and also make alignment adjustments to its intersection.
He said he feels relatively confident that this funding request will be approved by the commission in some capacity.
“We have been working with the Franklin County Engineer’s Office on this application and we both feel this is a really good project based upon the traffic counts, based upon the area it serves, based upon the types of vehicles it serves, and the types of land uses (along the road),” said Farnsworth. “It is a really good opportunity for us to go after and hopefully be really competitive in this grant application.”
One of the primary issues with Brown and Dyer Roads is its condition, which was described by Farnsworth as in a constant need for repair.
“Our road crew continues to go out there and do a lot of repairs every month just to maintain a level of safety for our residents and for the people that are using that area,” he said.
Exacerbating the condition of the roads is the fact that they are used as cut-throughs when traffic has built up along the surrounding thoroughfares, explained Farnsworth.
“If you have gone down that area – whenever anything is happening to Frank Road, Jackson Pike, or to Gantz Road or Home Road – Dyer Road and Brown Road get hit a lot (and have to bear that traffic load),” he said.
He mentioned that those roads were not built with so much traffic in mind but acknowledged the volume along those roadways will likely remain high due to the area it serves and the way the area is being built up.
“We still have to make sure these roads are as safe as possible for whoever lives in that area and for whoever travels on it,” he said.
Township officials said they will work with the local municipalities who share jurisdiction of the roads to make sure this resurfacing and realignment application is as “attractive” as possible to the commission.
“Collaboration is always an attractive feature on these applications, and it would be in the best interest of all of us to have this project funded,” said Farnsworth, noting that they are working with the city of Columbus and Franklin Township, the latter to a lesser degree, on this application.
The application is due Sept. 2. It will be reviewed and scored by the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission. It will then go before the district’s public works integrating committee, which recommends project awards for OPWC approval.
Farnsworth said he expects to hear whether the township has received full or partial funding this winter.