CLAYTON — The City of Clayton authorized City Manager Rick Rose to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Northmont School District for a planned widening of Route 40 west from Haber Road to the middle school/high school campus as well as improvements to the intersection of Haber and 40.
Members of committees representing Clayton and Northmont City Schools determined it was in the best interest of both entities to develop a left turn lane into the school campus on National Road (40).
As part of that decision a memorandum of understanding has been crafted and reviewed that defines what portions of the project the city would be responsible for as well as the school’s portion of the project.
“Northmont is taking responsibility for the widening portion,” Rose said.
A 300-foot left turn lane would be widened into three lanes from a small bridge just east of the middle school and high school campus which the school district has taken responsibility for while the city will take responsibility for widening 40 from the bridge east to Haber Road.
“The intention is for all of us to apply for a grant to help financially solve this problem,” Rose said. “This is going to be about a $1.2 million project.”
Rose said that the project probably wouldn’t take place until 2017. The city and school district would have to apply for a grant next year with grants being awarded in 2017.
“If it’s not awarded in 2017 we would reapply for a 2018 grant,” Rose noted.
Inflationary costs have been built in to the grant application for the time period in which the project is expected to take place.
National Road would have to be widened on both sides. There are already three lanes east of Haber Road, but a small area west of Haber would have to be widened.
“Traffic engineers believe this would be a good solution to handle all of the traffic going into the school campus,” Rose stated.
He said the initial impression was that the road would have to be improved as part of the school’s occupancy permit for the new high school and the road widening would be included as part of the school project.
“There wasn’t enough funding from the state to get the whole project completed,” Rose said.
Other discussions took place and it was determined that the best method to improve the road would be for the city and school district to apply for a grant.
Plans call for the intersection of Haber Road to be widened to add a right turn lane to prevent traffic from backing up. Plans also call for the city to submit a request for a traffic signal at Haber and National.
The left turn lane on National to Haber would be extended further west to the main entrance of the campus.
“We will probably have to acquire some easements off Haber Road,” Rose said. “The school has agreed that any property from the school would be able to be acquired for the project without any additional cost.”
Rose said more engineering work has to be performed before a final plan is developed for the project. He said city engineers have put together cost estimates regarding engineering and construction costs and that the memorandum of understanding with the school district is “not to exceed” a predetermined cost.
“We hope we can bring those costs down by partnering with ODOT as well as few other things, but we don’t know that at this moment,” he said.
If the grants are not approved the city could opt not to do anything. Rose said the grants could not be applied for until August 2016.