The city of Fairborn is preparing to repair more than a mile stretch of Colonel Glenn Highway that provides access to Wright State University and the Nutter Center.
Work will begin in early spring of 2014 on nearly 1.1 miles of road that is the most heavily traveled thoroughfare in the city at 25,000 vehicles per day. The project should be completed by the end of next year, according to city engineer Jim Sawyer.
City Council recently approved an engineering contract with Northwest Consultants, Inc. for $121,656, which will come out of the project’s $1.47 million budget. NCI will provide design work, elevation data and a maintenance of traffic plan.
Fairborn was awarded a $400,000 grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission, and the remaining balance will be paid for out of the street levy and county motor vehicle license tax funds. The city expects to receive the grant funds July 1, and the construction contract will go out for bid and awarded at the end of this year.
Traffic will be maintained throughout the project, Sawyer said. The last resurfacing work on Colonel Glenn was in 2000.
“It’s really in a deteriorated condition,” Sawyer said. “If we let it go another year or two, we could be spending more than $2 million in repairs. … It will certainly improve safety and traffic flow tremendously, and it will last for 15 to 20 years. It will improve the look and draw interest from development.”
Improvements proposed in the $1.47 million project include resurfacing and restriping the road; replacing and installing new curbs and gutters; sidewalk installation; and installation of aesthetic curb islands in the center median.
Fairborn City Manager Deborah McDonnell said this project will not only help the image of the city, but also WSU.
“Wright State is one of the premier elements of our city,” she said. “We want to do our part to make sure the quality of the university is reflected in the environment in which someone travels to it. As the university continues to grow and gain more traffic, we’re looking for ways to enhance the experience for the traveler.”
Sawyer said the city will keep WSU, area communities and local businesses updated on the progress of the project.
“Communication is the key here with the people who need to know,” Sawyer said. “The most important things are the overall safety of motorists and workers, and a minimum inconvenience for the people directly affected by that route.”
Dan Papay, WSU’s engineer, said the university likely will reroute students and faculty to the University Blvd. entrance in the back of campus. Notifications will be sent out to help minimize traffic in and out of campus, he said.
WSU has about 18,000 students. The Nutter Center hosts about 220 events per year.
“I certainly anticipate it being a challenge for day-to-day traffic and arena traffic,” Papay said. “But it’s got to be done to improve safety for pedestrians, and it will improve traffic flow.”