The first Delaware City Hall meeting of the new year promises to be a busy one, with discussion on the congested traffic intersection popularly known as “the Point.”
The city’s Public Works/Public Utilities Committee meets at 7 p.m. Monday at City Hall, 1 S. Sandusky St. After electing officers, among the topics for discussion is an update on traffic at the intersection of U.S. 36 and State Route 37, as well as a presentation on the feasibility of replacing the nearby Norfolk-Southern Railroad bridge.
“Current estimates just to replace the Point railroad bridge, which would add underneath vehicle capacity and reduce congestion, are $15 million to $20 million,” said Lee Yoakum, the city’s community affairs coordinator, in an email. “Add to this the cost to improve East Central Avenue (Route 37) by adding turn lanes and reconstructing the road, estimated to be $8 million to $10 million, and the project grows to $24 million to $30 million.”
Although the city is expected to receive tax revenues from a Joint Economic Development District with Berkshire Township that would go towards improving the Point, Yoakum said that “current city resources are not adequate to provide even the typically required 20-percent local matching project contributions” needed to receive state and federal grants.
Yoakum said improvements were made to the Point in 2009 in regards to westbound traffic.
“While the intersection continues to operate at an improved level of service most hours of the day, eastbound movements are experiencing increased delay as was predicted during design analysis,” Yoakum said.
There are 35,000 average daily trips on the roads.
“As traffic continues to increase on 36/37, consideration to replacement of the existing railway bridge is under way,” Yoakum said. “A goal is to identify conceptual alternatives for the bridge replacement. Then, with review and direction from Norfolk & Southern Railway, Delaware will be in a better position to understand the scope, cost and feasibility to advance a bridge replacement project.”
In other business, the committee will receive project updates and the latest on using automated water meters, review the snow and ice removal policy, and hear appeals on residential sidewalk repairs.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.