By Christine Bryant
The city of Reynoldsburg is planning major roadway improvements for some of the city’s busiest streets next year.
Though still in the planning process, the projects include potential changes to Waggoner Road, Rodebaugh Road and Jackson Street.
At the July 24 city council meeting, Director of Public Service Bill Sampson briefed council members on an application to the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) that would seek financial assistance for the funding of capital infrastructure projects.
As a major thoroughfare in Reynoldsburg, Waggoner Road is a good candidate to receive this funding for infrastructure improvements, Sampson said. If council approves the project, the grant would fund the widening of Waggoner Road to three lanes.
Completed in two phases, the first phase would affect Waggoner Road from East Main Street to Priestley Drive. The three lanes would include a shared center turn lane, Sampson said.
Other proposed project components include adding an asphalt leisure path and sidewalk with ramps, enhancing street lighting and pedestrian crossing, replacing the existing water main, and improving the storm sewer system, curbs and gutters.
Sampson stressed this is only an application and the city has not committed to the project.
“This is simply for the application approval to apply,” he said during the finance committee meeting. “If it’s approved, we’ll then come back with permission to proceed.”
Waggoner Road, which sees approximately 17,000 vehicles per day, has significant pedestrian safety issues, Sampson said.
“My goal as service director has been to expand our bicycle and pedestrian pathways and provide to our residents the convenience of traveling throughout the city safely,” he said. “The Waggoner Road project, when completed, will allow the residents who live in the developments on and off of Waggoner to bike or walk to Olde Reynoldsburg and the new community center.”
OPWC will finalize any funding decisions in December, and if the city is awarded funding, it will become available to the city in July 2018, should the city decide to pursue the Waggoner Road improvements. That’s when the city would proceed with the engineering phase, with construction beginning in spring of 2019, Sampson said.
Also in the works, the city is planning its roadway schedule as part of its 2018 Capital Improvement Plan.
Proposed projects include reconstructing Baldwin Road and Woodsedge Drive accompanied by a water main replacement project, reconstructing Jackson Street with on-street parking, and improving the S-curve on Rodebaugh Road.
Baldwin Road, which includes both residential and school bus traffic, experiences frequent flooding, Sampson said.
There are also plans to repave and provide drainage improvements to the parking lots at Civic Park and Huber Park, as well as resurfacing residential streets that are still to be determined.
If approved, construction for these projects would begin in April of 2018.
Sampson said he it was his goal to provide council with recommendations now to solicit feedback during August’s scheduled break. Council recesses during the month of August.
“We would then move forward in September to seek approval from council to move forward with each of the projects,” he said.
Earlier this year, the Franklin County Engineer’s office met with Mayor Brad McCloud and Sampson to address concerns about Rodebaugh Road.
“There are two fairly aggressive curves on this road that they wanted addressed,” Sampson said.
If approved, the city would soften the curves on the road. Because Reynoldsburg shares the road with Truro Township, the two would share costs for completing the project, Sampson said.