Last week the Engineering Division took a request to City Council to authorize staff to pre-apply for AMATS funding for a couple of Kent projects in 2012. I know 2012 sounds like a long way off but you’ve got to get in the project funding pipeline early if you hope to actually get the cash you need. All this action really does is say that we’ve got legitimate interest in applying for transportation funding for these projects when it’s time to apply. This in turn gives the funding agencies an indication of what sort of requests to expect when the funding is opened up later this year. I’ve shared the short memo that the City Engineer, Jim Bowling, prepared on the prospective projects.
MEMO FROM JIM BOWLING, CITY ENGINEER
On December 11, 2007 we received a request from AMATS for projects the City wishes to access federal funding in fiscal year 2012 and 2013. AMATS is requesting projects for their Surface Transportation Program (STP), Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality Program (CMAQ) and Transportation Enhancement Program (TEP). After discussing the request with other staff and looking at our capital plan we are recommending the following projects be submitted for consideration:
1. Summit Street Traffic Signal Coordination – This project will address traffic congestion problems, pedestrian/vehicular safety issues and vehicular accident problems on Summit Street. The project limits are anticipated to be between Lincoln Street and Loop Road. City and KSU staff have been discussing potential alternates to address the issues. The project will provide for the installation of new traffic signals, access management and reduction in pedestrian/vehicular conflict areas. Other items anticipated to be included in the project are turn lanes at intersections, relocated intersections and other required measures to meet the goals stated above. Currently this project is included in the 5-year capital plan with design funding in 2011 and construction funding in 2012.
2. Portage Hike and Bike Trail – Tannery Park Section – The purpose of the project is to complete a link in The Portage Hike and Bike Trail which will connect the Western Reserve Greenway to the Ohio and Erie Canal corridors. On a local level, the link will connect John Brown Tannery Park, with it’s current trailhead, to the proposed segment of The Portage to be constructed in 2008. The proposed improvement will include the construction of a 10 foot wide all-purpose trail. The trail will be asphalt and have 2 foot berms along both sides of the project. The majority of the project will consist of upgrading an existing +/- 6 foot aggregate trail. However, there will be a significant portion of the project that will involve more costly construction measures. These measure could include cutting the trail into an existing slope while using a retaining wall to allow support the remaining slope. Other possibilities include the construction of a boardwalk to support the trail, while minimizing impacts to the river.
After receipt of the letters of intent, AMATS staff will evaluate the projects. After the initial evaluations and meetings discussing the proposed projects, AMATS will request applications for the projects which passed the initial screening. Upon receipt of the applications AMATS will grade the projects and select those to receive funding. Submittal of the letter of intent does not commit the City to funding the project. Letters of Interest are due on January 11, 2007 and AMATS does not require council legislation at that time. Council legislation is required for the application expected to be required in June.
City Council approved Jim’s request and authorized us to officially send AMATS our letter of interest.