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City works on backup plans for streets

Photo by Janelle Patterson Curb ramps along Third Street are completed pre-paving of the state route in Marietta Friday with grading work to reroute trapped water back to existing storm drains from surrounding side streets.

With state funding uncertain for some city 2020 asphalt paving projects, Marietta City Council members are looking to contingency plans to still address “orphan” streets this fall while other projects move forward.

Orphan streets are roads and alleys otherwise ineligible for state and federal funding due to lower daily traffic.

The annual asphalt paving program is separate from ongoing projects on Ohio 676 (Lancaster Street hill from Fort Harmar Drive to the top of Harmar Hill) and the urban paving project along Ohio 60 and Ohio 7 through Marietta on Third Street from Greene to Washington.

Those two state and federally-funded projects are already underway with curb ramp work and drainage nearly complete on Third and drainage, curb and guardrail work still on track this summer for Lancaster.

But during committee discussions Thursday over the 2020 asphalt resurfacing and curb ramp replacement plan for seven eligible city streets, City Engineer Joe Tucker explained to council that while the city was successful in the initial award of a competitive state grant and loan ($300,000 Ohio Public Works Commission grant and $100,000 OPWC loan), the release of those funds post-coronavirus is uncertain.

“The OPWC funding is in question, however, I’m asking council to have the authorization to seek bids,” said Tucker, noting the current cost analysis for the project ($570,366) is only an estimate at this time.

The city plan submitted to the Ohio Public Works Commission was approved to pave Academy Drive, Cisler Drive, Fourth Street, Glendale Extension, Glendale Road, Second Street and South Seventh Street with a local match of funds levying $170,366 out of the $570,366 project.

But that work is not the only work on the docket, Tucker explained as he asked for council permission to request bids.

Tucker also asked council to approve the city’s acceptance of bids for additional orphan streets not on the state application.

Those additional orphan streets include:

• Alternate bid 1: Sunnyhill Drive, Douglas Avenue, Garfield Avenue from Fifth to Ferguson, and Wildwood Drive.

This addition, Tucker explained, is estimated to cost $128,731 in local funds, with no matching state dollars.

• Alternate bid 2: Spring Street from Colegate to Holly.

This addition, the engineer added, is estimated to cost $130,111 in local funds with no matching state dollars.

A breakdown of how those additional project costs ($258,842 total) would be paid for was not provided to council but, as Streets Chairwoman Susan Boyer pointed out, the general intent would be to use the city supplemental income tax funds designated for local streets ineligible for state and federal funding.

When Boyer assumed the role of Streets Committee Chairwoman last summer, she turned her focus onto the city’s supplemental income tax which was campaigned under the guise of local street repairs and maintenance.

Though the Third Street resurfacing project underway is utilizing 31.29 percent of the total project cost from the supplemental income tax fund, that practice is no longer an option under Boyer, Finance Chairman Mike Scales and council members Cassidi Shoaf and Geoff Schenkel’s direction.

Boyer said it would be her preference to still move ahead with one or both local street projects if state funds do not arrive this year.

When questioned by the Times Thursday, Tucker confirmed that the $30,000 set aside this year from federal Community Development Block Grant monies for curb ramps could also be rerouted to the alternate bid projects if state funds do not come through this year for the main project.

Other local funds also available for rerouting could include the permissive tax funds (the original project plans to use $45,000) and general street funds ($35,000).

Meanwhile, the new “slip” on Lancaster which briefly required a lane closure on May 20, is not a technical slip, but a washout, project manager Eric Lambert said Friday

“It’s not a slip stability issue there. The four inches of rain created that velocity and pressure in that bend and caught the material there,” explained Lambert. “If it would have happened on the other side of the road I’d have been more concerned, but that was more of a washout from that area and the (remaining) project is going to address that issue (by building) new drainage.”

The Lancaster Street hillside and roadwork began with the replacement of an underlying water line up to Alta Street and has seen new pavement at the top of the hill and bottom already.

“And my understanding is the contract is still on track for the new underground drains to take diverted water from the new curbs,” said Lambert. “Then the contractor will also put in the new sidewalk, new guardrail and add reflective pavement markings for added visibility for people coming around the turns.”

The $1,001,420.84 project is utilizing $357,764.30 in Wood-Washington-Wirt Interstate Planning Commission funds, $35,000 in federal CDBG funds and $608,656.54 in local funds for street improvements following the 2019 water main replacement below the road.

And the urban paving project along Third Street saw Shelly and Sands contractors working this past week on curb ramps and rerouting water to storm drains resting below over-paved lips along the state route.

The $453,908.87 project stretching 0.87 miles is to be paid for by $262,042.87 in federal funds through the Ohio Department of Transportation Urban Paving program with the remaining balance paid for through $30,148 in the city’s state highway improvement fund, $19,678 in the city’s street’s fund and $142,040 from the city’s supplemental income tax streets fund.

If all planned projects and the two orphan street alternative bids are completed this year as planned, the city will have invested $2,284,537.71 in federal, regional, state and local funds into city streets.

Janelle Patterson may be reached at jpatterson@mariettatimes.com.

By the numbers:

Asphalt Paving Program:

• Base plan estimated cost if state funding arrives: $570,366 for Academy Drive, Cisler Drive, Fourth Street, Glendale Road and Extension, Second Street, South Seventh Street.

• Alternate bid 1 estimated cost: $128,731 for Sunnyhill Drive, Douglas Avenue, Garfield Avenue from Fifth to Ferguson, and Wildwood Drive.

• Alternate bid 2 estimated cost: $130,111 for Spring Street from Colegate to Holly

Urban Paving Project:

• $453,908.87 for Third Street from Greene to Washington.

Lancaster Street/Ohio 676 hillside street paving: $1,001,420.84 budgeted.

** Total planned investment: $2,284,537.71 in federal, regional, state and local funds into city streets.

Source: Marietta City Engineering.

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