By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
The Wood County Commissioners have kicked in $300,000 for roundabouts being planned at the Interstate 75 interchange in Bowling Green.
The commissioners presented the check Thursday morning to Bowling Green Mayor Dick Edwards.
“I know these decisions aren’t easy to come by, with all the competing demands” for funding, Edwards said to the commissioners.
But Commissioner Doris Herringshaw said the impact of the interchange improvements will reach beyond Bowling Green. “It’s important for all of us,” she said.
The roundabouts planned for the interchange on East Wooster Street are intended to make traffic move more smoothly and reduce accidents. Work on the necessary infrastructure for the project will begin in 2018, according to Bowling Green Municipal Administrator Lori Tretter. The actual road paving work is planned for 2019, she said.
“It’s got a lot of moving parts,” Tretter said of the project.
Edwards thanked the commissioners for their “spirit of collaboration.”
“We appreciate you recognizing the import of this,” he said, referring to Bowling Green as the capital of Wood County. “We do have this very important corridor coming in off 75. This will make a huge difference.”
The improvements are even more needed with the expansion of the Wood Bridge industrial park off Dunbridge Road, the mayor said.
“We do work together really well in Wood County,” Herringshaw said. “We actually communicate and talk about our issues, and solve our issues.”
Bowling Green Assistant Municipal Administrator Joe Fawcett said the local share is due to the Ohio Department of Transportation in the spring.
The current projected total local share for the road work and utility work is $5,150,000; $3,450,000 for the road work and $1,700,000 for the utility work. The overall cost for the project is $7,700,000. ODOT is contributing $2,250,000 and the county has contributed $300,000.
A bond will be sold to finance this project and will be paid back over a 20-year period. The timing of the county’s contribution is important, Fawcett said, because the process for selling this bond will begin within the next month or so – starting with accounting for how much money is needed, developing the bond retirement schedule, and the necessary city legislation to do all of this.
More roundabouts are proposed for East Wooster Street at the intersections at Dunbridge Road and at Campbell Hill Road. The city is still waiting for word on grant funding for those projects.