Wednesday, August 26, 2009

John Matuszak: Bexley wants grant for College Ave. repairs.

The city of Bexley wants to go back to College - with "tuition" at $2.5 million.

On Aug. 25, Service Director Bill Harvey held a meeting to discuss a grant proposal for replacing water lines and pavement along College Avenue. The funding request to the Ohio Public Works Committee would include a $1.1 million grant and a $1.1 million zero-interest loan. The city expects to contribute $300,000 of its own money. The city's portion and the loan would be repaid through water service fees to residents.

Harvey said Capital University is being asked to fund part of the project, as well.

There have been numerous water line breaks in the area in the last couple of years, according to engineer David Koch, and he anticipates more frequent problems as the pipes continue to age. Those breaks can cost up to $10,000 to repair, and the engineer expects those costs to rise. Eventually the pipes will be too damaged to fix. The age of the pipes is also affecting water quality in the area.

The planners want to replace the six-inch lines with 12-inch pipes that will pump up the flow for fire hydrants and accommodate future growth at Capital.

The pavement on College is too thin to handle the 10,000 vehicles a day that travel the road, Koch added. The avenue has been repaved about every six years since 1993, and was last resurfaced in 2006. Koch said this resurfacing should last for 20 to 25 years.

The plans also call for replacing hydrants and street light poless, installing new curb ramps and improving pedestrian crossings.

If the funding is obtained, construction could begin by August, 2010, and would take a minimum of four months to complete. Work would proceed block by block, and traffic would be diverted to neighboring streets.

The larger lines would increase water flow, but would not create addd pressure that could put stress on the lines going to residences, Koch said. He likened the larger-diameter lines to adding lanes to a highway.

To improve the chances of being awarded the funding, the city is asking residents on College Avenue to submit letters of support for the project. Form letters are available, or residents can write their own. The deadline for submitting a letter is Sept. 2. Bexley is competing with other communities in the district for an $8 million pool of funds, and Harvey said public support will have an impact on the final decision.

The OPWC is the main funding source for the work now under way on Sheridan and Francis avenues.

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Design is copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Bexley Public Radio Foundation. Text is copyright 2009. All rights reserved. John Matuszak.

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