The city has received approval from the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) for a $1.6 million project that will widen a section of state Route 93 between Vanderhoof and Renninger roads.

The city has received approval from the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) for a $1.6 million project that will widen a section of state Route 93 between Vanderhoof and Renninger roads.

The widening project would go south to the Dollar General Store entrance.

Mayor Al Bollas said the city has already earmarked $375,000 from the city road fund for the project, with remainder of funding coming from several sources. A total of $150,000 has been earmarked from the Ohio Community jobs fund and $225,000 from Jobs Ohio. Summit County has committed $50,000.

The remainder of the project is funded by the OPWC.   

The project involves adding a third lane for turning along with a traffic light at Renninger Road. Additionally, the plan calls for the widening of Johns Road near the HiWay Distributing business to allow for truck traffic going north on Manchester Road. The project would also add a multi-use lane for bikers and a sidewalk for walkers from Vanderhoof Road south to the entrance of Portage Lakes State Park at the east side of Manchester Road.  

Bids will be advertised in April. The job is expected to be awarded in May and work should begin in July with the project finishing up in early 2017.

One key to the project is securing some property from land owners and easements from others, Bollas said.

Several other projects may be in the horizon for the city. Council passed a resolution Nov. 17 authorizing Bollas to apply for Federal Surface Transportation (STP) or Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) funds programmed by the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study for the resurfacing of Center Road from Eastview Drive to South Main Street. This project is estimated to cost $1.15 million and city is expecting to cover $230,000.

It also passed a second resolution authorizing Bollas to apply for the same funds for resurfacing of Center Road from Cleveland Massillon Road to Eastview Drive. The project would be an 80/20 split with the federal government. The proposed project is estimated to begin in 2021. This project is estimated at $1.16 million and the city’s portion should cost around $232,000.

Council also approved the application process in two resolutions, to ease the process of securing funding, in the case that one portion of the project would not be approved.

Bollas said New Franklin has not yet earmarked funds for these projects.