Thursday, April 9, 2009

Harrison Avenue improvements could begin in 2012

Improvements to Harrison Avenue between Queen City Avenue to the Cincinnati corporation line could begin as soon as 2012, according to a memo to city council from city manager Milton Dohoney Jr.

The accident rate on this stretch of roadway is nearly twice the City average, with some locations, such as the S-curve between White and Biegler streets, approaching a rate of nearly five times the City average.

Safety improvements will include providing "consistent lane widths, adding left turn lanes, signal operation changes, smoothing sharp curves, and modifying pavement markings", Dohoney says.

The ODOT process

The City applied for and received $5.4 million in Federal Surface Transportation Program (STP) and Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality (CMAQ) funds from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in 2006.

This funding, administered through the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and distributed by the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments, requires the City to follow ODOT's project development process under a local public agency agreement (LPA), which allows the City to design and construct the project with ODOT oversight.

This process requires the development and evaluation of alternatives, solicitation of public input, and the selection of a preferred alternative.

So far, the City's Department of Transportation and Engineering conducted a public meeting last November 18, has met with the Westwood Civic Association and the North and South Fairmount community councils, and is currently evaluating several alternatives.

Target areas

The project identifies several key locations for street widening, new curbs and pavement along Harrison Avenue:

  • The curve west of Queen City Avenue
  • Montrose Street
  • The intersection with Tremont Avenue
  • The S-curve between White and Biegler streets
  • The intersection with McHenry Avenue
  • The curve at Woodrow Avenue
  • The intersection with LaFeuille Avenue
  • The intersection with Werk Road
  • The intersection with Boudinot Avenue
Between these points, work will be limited to new curbs and pavement.

To move the project forward, council must pass an ordinance allowing the City to enter into a LPA agreement with ODOT.

The estimated project cost is $7.5 million, of which $2.1 million will come from City matching funds, Ohio Public Works Commission funds, or Hamilton County Municipal Road funds.