City personnel will apply for federal funding of a second phase of Denmark Road, which includes a major bridge replacement project.The city’s parks, building, development and public service committee recommended the city start the application process to ask for federal funds through the East-West Gateway Council of Governments’ 2014-17 Surface Transportation Program (STP).
However, there was some discussion to what project would be the city’s top priority.City Engineer Jonathan Zimmermann recommended the city apply for funds to resurface Springfield Avenue and install additional sidewalks.
But other officials, including Mayor Mike Livengood, said they would prefer to seek funds for the Denmark Road project.“It’s not an easy decision on which road to apply for,” said Zimmermann.
Each year the city applies for about $1 million of federal funds through the 80-20 cost-share STP. Only projects on high-volume arterial and collector streets are eligible for the funds.
Zimmermann said those funds could resurface Springfield Road, and install sidewalks the entire stretch of roadway.
“There is a high density of homes on that stretch and the sidewalk goes about two-thirds the way up,” said Zimmermann.
He added that the Springfield Avenue leads to the downtown area. It carries a lot of traffic and the last time it was overlaid was more than 15 years ago.City Administrator Russell Rost said it would be possible, if necessary, to fund the repaving of Springfield Avenue out of a future city budget.
“(Denmark Road) is a bigger safety issue,” said Rost. “It is a narrow street and I could foresee stabilizing Springfield at a later date.”
Zimmermann also recommended the city pay for engineering costs “out of pocket instead” of being reimbursed through the STP funds.
He explained that the funds that otherwise would fund engineering costs would be applied to construction, and because the engineering costs would be available sooner, the project may begin one year earlier.The proposed Denmark project would be a second phase of Denmark Road improvements.
Phase 2 would begin east of St. Andrews Drive and would include a low-water bridge replacement. Zimmermann said the roadway would be widened and sidewalks would be installed to the east an estimated 1,000 feet.
Zimmermann said other projects that were being considered were bridge replacements on Memorial Parkway and North Christina Drive.
He added that those two bridges have the lowest ratings of bridges in Union.
“Christina is the older and worse of the two bridges,” Zimmermann said, “but it still comes with a 12-ton load limit.“We will have to look into it in five to 10 years,” he said.
Alderman Jim Albrecht said Old Highway 50 “needs help.”
Alderman David Pope said he drives that road daily and the road is not properly striped. He further added that pedestrians often walk in the driving lane.“Somebody is going to be hit,” Pope said.
“It’s going to happen. I’m telling you — it’s going to be bad.”Zimmermann said Old Highway 50 is not a collector street and the city can’t yet request for more streets to be designated as collectors.“We are kind of maxed out for collectors from the last go-around,” he said.