A grant application submitted last week may be key in funding Franklin County’s portion of the Highway 47/Union Expressway project.

Franklin County has teamed up with the city of Union to complete the $10.2 million project in five years by using a patchwork of federal and state grants paired with local matches from the city and county.

According to the deal reached between Union and Franklin County, the county will pay for the roundabout and Union will foot the bill for the expressway.

The roadway portion of the expressway includes a 2,000-foot section of bridge over the Bourbeuse River and corresponding flood plain.

The total cost of the roadway is estimated at $10,209,738, and will be paid for by the city of Union.

Under the agreement, both sides will work to secure funding to create a mile-long, two-lane expressway to bypass the present intersection of Highways 50 and 47 in Union. The “Union Expressway” also would realign the northern section of Highway 47 to meet in a straight line with the southern portion.

The northern end of the expressway will feature a two-lane roundabout on Highway 47 and the southern portion will culminate in a four-way stop intersection.

The roundabout is estimated at $1,978,915. 

A commission order passed Feb. 4, allowed Cochran Engineering to apply for $1,318,912 in the Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) funds through the East-West Gateway Council of Governments (EWGW), leaving the county to come up with $660,003 in matching funds, which is 33.5 percent of the total project cost.

After analysis of the roundabout project, the grant application claims the improvements will alleviate current congestion through the urban section on Highway 47 specifically at the troublesome intersection of Highways 47 and 50 in Union.


As a sign of solidarity, all other municipalities in Franklin County have agreed not to request funds from EWGW in coming years in an effort to funnel all funds earmarked for Franklin County to this one regional project  

The city intends to apply for federal grants to cover around $6,936,406, meaning the local share would be approximately $3,273,332 for the roadway.

The city and county both agreed to a 50/50 split of the local share if both grants are awarded. 

The agreement is void if the grants are not received.