An Ohio Department of Transportation sidewalk improvement project, currently underway, will see parts of pedestrian thoroughfare along U.S. Route 50 in Hillsboro undergoing extensive renovation through as late as this winter, according to an ODOT spokesperson.
The project seeks to renovate sidewalks along West Main Street, between Willettsville Pike and Elm Street; East Main Street between East Street and Key Street; and Chillicothe Avenue between East Main Street and Greystone Drive, including the addition of new sidewalks, “on the north side of Main Street from Bell Street to Chillicothe Avenue” and from “the north side of Chillicothe Avenue from Main Street to Greystone Drive,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said the project funding is, “80 percent federal and 20 percent local.” To that end, a resolution was passed by the city on June 10, 2019, to pay the, “cost of the improvements within the city limits, less the amount of federal-aid funds,” for the project, according to public city documents. According to the documents, the cost to the city was approximated to be $25,080, with federal funding subsidizing the remaining cost.
Kirby Ellison, city of Hillsboro economic developmental coordinator and grant writer, said that the project was pursued by the city as part of a TAP (Transportation Alternatives Plan) grant, which, according to ODOT Regional District Public Information Officer Matthew McGuire, “is an ODOT program that provides funding to local government entities for projects that improve facilities for alternative transportation options such as pedestrian and bicycle traffic.”
Ellison echoed the importance of the ability of the project to, “provide safe alternatives for non-drivers, and said that, “The city of Hillsboro hopes to promote the walkability of the city and encourage healthy living by providing individuals with the alternative of walking to the services and activities located in uptown Hillsboro.”
Although, according to McGuire, “Traffic impacts for this project are minimal… with traffic being maintained” for the duration of the project, he nevertheless encouraged proactive caution to motorists and pedestrians alike during the construction phase of the project.
“The best safety practices in any construction zone include staying alert, slowing down, and obeying all signs and traffic devices,” McGuire said.
He said that the project is currently estimated to done in early December.
For more information about ODOT’s Transportation Alternatives Program, access the ODOT website at www.transportation.ohio.gov.
Juliane Cartaino is a stringer for The Times-Gazette.