ODOT project set to begin early


The paving project for Route 161 through Plain City is on track to start earlier than expected.
Village Administrator Nathan Cahall said the Ohio Department of Transportation initially planned for a June/July start date but could begin construction next month.
“Residents will have noticed the contractor has put some construction signs around town already. So it’s looking like this will be sooner rather than later,” Cahall said. “They will be done earlier than we thought so we won’t be able to start our sidewalk projects before the paving begins.” The village had planned to do some updates to curb and sidewalks along Main Street during the ODOT construction.
“On the plus side, it will give us the opportunity to make some changes to what we originally planned to do,” Cahall added.
The bid for the contract came in earlier this year and the start date was at the contractor’s discretion, Cahall said. The village will move forward with their plans once ODOT construction is complete. With the village in talks to lease and take over maintenance of the parking lot at the front of Lovejoy’s Plaza, Cahall said this would give them the chance to finalize changes and make the whole street uniform.
“We’re looking at a variety of things for the uptown. From street sign designs to decorative lighting to decorative landscaping,” Cahall said. “We’ll now have a more comprehensive plan for the streetscape in the coming years.”
Cahall said Main Street might not be the only paving item on the agenda this year. The village could possibly increase some of the paving projects this year or next year with potential revenue from the state gas tax increase. In early April, Ohio legislators passed a bill that would increase the gas tax 10.5 cents per gallon for gas and 19 cents for diesel.
“MORPC (Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission) ran some estimates for members in their jurisdictions and, annually, according to their estimates, the village could see something like an additional $180,000 a year for paving,” Cahall said. “It’s not a huge increase for us but any little bit will help get those projects going.”
The tax takes effect on July 1 and with revenue coming in quarterly, the village could see some additional funds by the fall that would go toward paving smaller side streets around town.
“If we get enough from the additional revenue, we could start some paving by the end of summer. That was not originally planned for in the CIP funds,” Cahall said. “And if not, if we don’t get it, we can prepare a more robust repaving fund for next year with those funds.”

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