West Jeff and ODOT go after federal grant for roundabout

(Posted March 7, 2019)

By Michael Williamson, Staff Writer

West Jefferson is moving forward on a grant proposal to start phase two of the I-70/State Route 29 roundabout project.

At their March 4 meeting, village council members approved a resolution authorizing the mayor and public service director to participate in the INFRA (Infrastructure for Rebuilding America) Grant Program.

The project is estimated to cost $14.1 million and will include rebuilding the existing bridge, building a second bridge, and building a second roundabout at the 70/29 interchange.

The village is partnering with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) on the grant application. They are asking for $7.5 million in federal highway funds to put toward the project. The village applied for a similar grant last year, but did not receive it, according to John Mitchell, public service director. The new application goes out this week. Mitchell said he should have an answer by April.

If the funding comes through, the village will commit $4.1 million to the project and ODOT will make up the remaining $2.5 million. Part of West Jefferson’s local share will come from the village’s local developer fund. The rest they hope to cover with an Ohio Public Works Commission grant for which they will apply in August, Mitchell said.

If all of the funding pieces fall into place, design work will take a year and construction will take one to two years.

Also at the March 4 meeting, council amended an ordinance passed in September that allowed for the narrowing of Veterans Way and North Center Street. The ordinance came at the request of Fisher Cast Steel Products Inc. who has plans to extended the size of their building.

“This is a more complete and concise description of these two right-of-ways,” said Steve Johnston, council president. “The measure has been approved by our law director.”

In other action:

  • council accepted a recommendation to award the 2019 paving maintenance program to Cox Paving LLC.
  • council authorized supplemental appropriations of $3 million in capital improvement funds to reimburse Duke Realty for the Amazon project at routes 29 and 40.
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