City of Delaware officials welcomed the news that the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission recommended to advance two local transportation applications for federal funding.
The combined award will be for nearly $15.8 million.
Included was a $13.3 million application to address traffic congestion on the east side of the city, specifically at The Point intersection. The other application includes $2.5 million for improvements to traffic signal operations on Delaware’s main travel corridors, including Sandusky Street, Central Avenue and William Street.
Point funding would not begin until 2020 at $1,680,000, then continue in 2023 ($3,866,489) and 2024 ($7,732,978).
“Having an established source of funding allows Delaware to advance from the conceptual phase to the planning phase,” City Manager Tom Homan said.
Delaware is required to pay a 20-percent match. The transportation levy voted down Nov. 8 could have provided funds for the local contribution, according to officials, but the city will now look to identify other sources.
Homan said that alternative solutions along U.S. Route 36/State Route 37 will be thoroughly evaluated. This could include converting to one-way streets, construction of an east-side bypass, and replacement of the existing railway bridge to accommodate additional travel lanes underneath. Alternatives will be gauged to determine the benefits to easing congestion, feasibility of construction, impacts to the community and the associated construction costs.
Resident involvement will be encouraged to gain public input. The last significant improvement at the Point intersection occurred in 2009 and has succeeded is providing some relief to the daily westbound traffic backups and delay.
Additional improvements, however, have not been able to advance because of the lack of available funding. The city will be seeking additional regional partners, including the state and Delaware County.
It has been 15 years since a comprehensive evaluation and update of the city’s traffic signal system was completed. Since that time the road network, number of traffic signals, and associated daily traffic volumes have increased substantially throughout the community.
The work, which does not require a local funding match, will include updating the signal timing at all locations to coincide with current traffic volumes, as well as to make necessary improvements to the coordination of signal timing and equipment, with the intent of improving traffic progression and flow.
Both projects will be required to follow the Ohio Department of Transportation’s development process typically requiring several years to satisfy all conditions before final design and construction is completed.
Delaware competed with 38 other applications submitted by Central Ohio communities requesting more than $193 million in funding in a round where just $70 million was available.
Copies of the draft listing are available by calling MORPC at 614-228-2663 or can be viewed online at www.morpc.org/transfunding. Please submit comments in writing to Thea Walsh, Director of Transportation Systems and Funding, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, 111 Liberty Street, Suite 100, Columbus, Ohio, 43215 by 5 p.m. by Jan. 3 or submit via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.