|Road improvements should help Levis Commons congestion|
|Written by ALEX ASPACHER, Sentinel Staff Writer|
|Monday, 12 August 2013 09:57|
PERRYSBURG - Improvements to Jefferson Street are moving forward, with the plans for extending the road next year relieving traffic and deter crashes, and spurring economic development.
City council's service-safety committee voted 2-0 last week to approve several infrastructure projects, as well as the purchase of three new police vehicles. Council members John Kevern and Mike Olmstead voted yes, while Tom Mackin was absent.
Extending Jefferson Street a short distance to the east and connecting it with Waters Edge Drive would likely reduce traffic crashes and congestion in the area near Levis Commons, as well as stimulate economic development by creating better access to a nearby business park, according to Municipal Administrator Bridgette Kabat.
"It really is like killing two birds with one stone," she said.
ODOT and local traffic study data show increased crashes at Williams Road and Ohio 25, just north of Jefferson Street, which runs east across from Levis Commons. Creating a loop by extending Jefferson Street and restricting Williams Road to right-turn only would make the area safer, Kabat said.
The project, estimated at $1.5 million, would likely be completed in phases over the next several years. The city has $360,000 budgeted this year to begin the design process.
Kabat said Perrysburg's share of the project is about $700,000, ODOT contributing $250,000 and the city seeking Perrysburg Township and Wood County's assistance in applying for additional grant funding.
Kabat said some trucks currently end up on Jefferson Street after missing the turn onto Williams to enter the business park. While few residences stand on that stretch of road, the presence of the Perrysburg Heights Community Center creates concern for extra traffic around a pedestrian crossing.
The city has and will continue working with Perrysburg Township and residents of the neighborhood to determine what steps are necessary to maintain safety, such as flashing lights, speed bumps and crosswalks, Kabat said. She cautioned that traffic likely won't "flow" through the neighborhood, but some truck drivers may take Jefferson Street to head south on Ohio 25 once Williams Road is restricted to right-turn only.
Also approved was an agreement with ODOT for resurfacing of Ohio 25 from Findlay Street to Front Street.
Engineer Doug Dariano said ODOT would pay for 80 percent of resurfacing costs, with the city picking up the remaining share as well as 100 percent of all curb and catch basin work. Perrysburg's estimated contribution totals about $224,000.
Separately, the committee discussed purchasing three new Chevrolet Tahoes for the police department at a total cost of $83,618.
Chief Dan Paez said the vehicles hold up better than other less expensive options like the Chevy Impala, and the department would likely get an extra year or two out of each. Three cruisers with between 80,000 and 95,000 miles each would be replaced.
Paez's request included one four-wheel drive Tahoe that comes at a higher cost, but would allow for better emergency service during the winter.
Olmstead briefly questioned the price gap between the vehicles and other available models. His concerns were eased when Paez explained that other organizations such as the Wood County Sheriff's Office can make use of Impalas without increased maintenance, deputies drive their vehicles for eight hours before taking them home, while Perrysburg vehicles rotate with each shift and stay on the road day and night.
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