City hoping grant will help fund major traffic project

Daily Press file photo
Amy Cherry
Staff Writer

The city plans to apply for a $3 million grant to enact changes recently outlined in its multimodal transportation study, specifically relating to a state Route 120 connector.
St. Marys City Council unanimously approved submitting the grant application to the Commonwealth Financing Authority during their Monday evening meeting. The deadline to apply is July 31.
Michael Baker International, the engineering firm which conducted the study, estimates the SR 120 connector project to cost $2.8 million. This includes all engineering and design cost, and construction. Not included in the cost is right-of-way land management and demolition work. This would probably put the project over $3 million, likely around $4 million.
“What’s important about this grant is that this year, the state changed the rules, and there is no match required. Typically, this grant comes with a 30 percent match,” said City Manager Tim Pearson.
If council were to postpone applying for the grant until next year, the city would have to contribute $900,000 as part of its required match.
“If there was ever a time to submit for a grant. This is an opportunity where we would be very competitive, and an opportunity to get $3 million for the residents of this city,” Pearson said. “This is a unique opportunity to accelerate things a little bit.”
“No matter what we do with the Diamond in the future, 120 is a big piece,” Pearson said.
The study revealed 18 percent of truck traffic would be eliminated from having to access the Diamond if the connector were in place.
All traffic traveling from east to west and west to east along SR 120 would not have to travel the loop around the Diamond as the connector would allow them to bypass it.