GREENVILLE — During a work session held Tuesday night, Greenville City Council Members heard updates on city street projects.
Greenville Mayor Mike Bowers, Director of Planning and Zoning Chad Henry and Safety/Service Director Curt Garrison addressed council, discussing street work currently in progress and projects planned over the next few years, financed through the city’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) and state grants.
Bowers gave a brief overview of the plans, including current construction and future projects slated through 2020. In all, the city has allocated more than $3.12 million in street projects for 2016.
This year’s most expensive street project is the intersection of Ohio/East Main Street, costing nearly $1.3 million, with $600,000 of the cost funded by an Ohio Public Works Commission grant. Rework of the intersection is of vital interest to the city as work progresses on the new Greenville City Schools K-8 building, scheduled for completion in November 2016.
An additional $133,173 has been allocated to install a traffic signal at the intersection.
Substantial street projects over the next four years include improvements on North Broadway from the circle to Russ Road, reconstruction of West Fourth and Sweitzer Streets, and construction on South Broadway and Martin Street running to Ohio Street, among others.
“The reason we’re setting this in motion, moving those things forward, is because as we work toward that the 2020 urban paving piece, we’ve got some things that will need to be addressed downtown,” Bowers said, noting a proposed YOLO splashpad at the intersection of South Broadway and Martin Street, as well as concerns regarding municipal parking areas.
Henry told council that working within the framework of the CIP, his department has assigned grades to the city’s roadways, color-coding them on a map based on their condition. Green-coded streets are in good shape, while streets categorized as yellow or red are ones in most critical need of repair or replacement.
“Some of the local roads that aren’t traveled as much, we try to regrade every five years,” he said. “The collectors, the arterials, the bigger roads, we want to go out there and look at them every year to see which one’s are [deteriorating] faster.”
When asked what happens if a street deteriorates faster than anticipated, Henry explained that the department would “bump it up” on the priority list.
“It’s a fluid document,” he said, referring to the CIP. “Using that infrastructure plan we have, what that does is it allows us to see where our money’s going and prioritize.”
Henry also explained the factors that determine how streets are improved, pointing out that some require complete reconstruction while others can simply be repaved on the surface. Curb and sidewalk conditions also play a role.
Garrison delved into the financial details of the city’s street plans for 2016.
“The beginning year balance for our CIP fund was $1.2 million. This council has already approved a transfer into the CIP from the general funds in the amount of $650,000…These projects have been approved by council and the money for these projects has been appropriated.” He also noted, not counting the Ohio/East Main Street project, the city would spend approximately a half million dollars on paving this year.
Garrison discussed future projects, including the city’s attempts to gain state funding for these.
Further, he expressed his appreciation to council, saying, “To your credit as a council and deciding where dollars are to be spent, we are making great strides in changing the map that once, or still does have, a lot of red in it, changing that to, hopefully, more green.”
Garrison added, “This is a process, not something that we can change or tackle in a year’s time, but we are confident and hopeful that a plan like this, crossing our fingers again that our tax dollars continue to increase and we are able to move dollars to our capital infrastructure program, that we as an administration will be able to provide this council and our citizens with results when it comes to maintenance paving and also constructing or reconstructing roads that need to be done.”
Greenville City Council will have its first full meeting of the month on April 5 at 7:30 p.m.