HUDSON — The city is seeking federal funding assistance for several million dollars’ worth of road and trail projects it would like to perform five to six years from now.
City Council on Aug. 6 approved applying for federal Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) and Transportation Alternatives Set Aside (TASA) money from the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS) for:
• Reconstruction of Norton Road from Hudson Drive to Metro Bike Trail crossing, which is projected to cost $6 million;
• Installing a trail along Prospect Street and Morse Road for the second phase of the Veterans Trail project, which is projected to cost $2.6 million;
• Installing a trail between Veterans Way Park and downtown, which is estimated to cost $1.95 million;
• Putting in a roundabout at the intersection of Hines Hill and Valley View roads, which is projected to cost $2.1 million; and
• Resurfacing of Terex Road from Londonairy Boulevard to Barlow Road, which is estimated to cost $632,500.
The AMATS money would cover 80 percent of the project costs, while the city would need to cover the remaining 20 percent. The city is hoping to share in the local costs with the city of Stow on the Norton Road project. Both Hudson and Stow would each pay $1.05 million for the Norton Road project. That project would involve widening and resurfacing the road, improving site distance issues, adding drainage and other improvements, according to information from the city.
City Engineer Brad Kosco spoke with council in July about wanting to receive council’s "blessing" for doing these projects before he submitted the applications for the AMATS money. He added he expected the city would know some time this fall whether it has been awarded the funds. Council agreed to go forward with applying for the money with the understanding that they could still pull back from accepting the money shortly after hearing about how the projects are scored this fall.
If the city did receive the grant funds, Kosco said the money would be available in 2024.
Kosco said Terex Road has the third-lowest pavement rating of city streets that are eligible for AMATS funding. He noted he felt the two AMATS-eligible roads with the lowest pavement ratings — Stow Road and Ravenna Street — would need to be repaired before the AMATS funding is available in five years.
"We could likely wait for Terex Road resurfacing [until 2024]," said Kosco during a council workshop last month. "I’m suggesting we apply for funding for that."
Though noting he did not have a problem with roundabouts in general, Council member Alex Kelemen (Ward 3) said the proposed roundabout at Hines Hill and Valley View roads concerned him because "we don’t have any in Hudson and I think we would need to get some kind of public input to make sure, but we can’t do that by the end of the month."
Council member Beth Bigham (Ward 4) said some changes will soon be made to the Hines Hill and Valley View intersection. Kosco said he thinks the plan to put in a four-way stop at that intersection will improve the safety at that intersection.
"We have a short-term solution in putting a four-way stop there that may fix the accident issue out there," said Kosco.
He noted he "kind of teetered" on applying for the roundabout funding, but also said he would "hate to miss the [AMATS] funding cycle and then we’re two years even further beyond."
Council member Hal DeSaussure (At Large) said "it makes sense" to look at making Hines Hill and Valley View a roundabout because "we’ve had fatalities there."
Kosco said the single-lane roundabout project would require the acquisition of property owners’ rights of way. Council President Bill Wooldredge (At Large) said there would be plenty of time for residents in the area of the roundabout to learn about the project and how it would affect them. Kosco noted, "we would want to start educating them" that the project might happen.
Council member Dr. J. Daniel Williams (At Large) said he was "uncomfortable with committing the city to spending this money this far down the road." Williams acknowledged that Kosco was trying to avoid past instances where the city has returned grant money after deciding it did not want to pursue a project.
DeSaussure said he felt Kosco was asking council members if they currently had any concerns about the projects the city was looking to do.
"I don’t see anything that’s problematic from my view," said DeSaussure. "Obviously, we can’t do them all because if they all got awarded, then we’re committing ourselves to a significant amount of dollars … at the end of the day, this council could say, ‘yeah, when it came through and we looked at it, we [said] yeah, it was a good idea, try for it.’ But we can’t say anything more than that."
Kelemen said that if a majority of council was completely opposed to doing a certain project, then "[Kosco] ought to know that right off the bat."
Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.