TO: Mayor Hornaday / Homer City Council
FROM: Walt Wrede
DATE: February 15, 2011
SUBJECT: Main Street / Sterling Highway Intersection
At the last meeting I informed the Council that the Department of Transportation had recently contacted me regarding the Main Street / Sterling Highway intersection. In short, the Department stated that it wanted to nominate this intersection improvement project for the STIP but would like the City’s concurrence before it did so. It was stated that $2 Million was not enough money to construct either a roundabout or a traffic signal. The cost estimate for a traffic signal is $3 Million and the estimate for a roundabout is $4 million. Both projects would require an extensive reconstruction of the intersection. The advantage to adding this project to the STIP is that additional federal funding can be leveraged. A disadvantage is that it likely means the project will take longer to complete. DOT/PF reiterated that it preferred a roundabout and offered to allow the City to help further define the project scope of work. The additional work could include bringing Main Street up to City urban road standards, which is attractive because the City has been requesting that for years.
This meeting agenda contains a resolution that requests that DOT/PF place this intersection project on the STIP list and expand the scope of work to include bringing Main Street up to City urban road standards and completing the promised traffic control improvements at the Main St. / Pioneer Ave. intersection. It says that in exchange, the City will provide the $2 Million Legislative grant it received for the project as a match and take over ownership and maintenance responsibility for Main Street. I drafted this resolution to get this topic officially on the table and open for discussion and Council action.
Following are several things to consider as you are ponder this resolution:
1. Other intersections. This resolution may not be asking for enough. You may recall that the intersections study listed four or five intersections at which traffic control improvements are justified by 2011. This included Pioneer and Sterling and Heath and Sterling. All of these projects were once combined and nominated as a single STIP project. The project was dropped when federal highway receipts plummeted. It looks as though there might be a significant new federal investment in basic infrastructure in the next few years. Having all of these intersections on the STIP list now might be very beneficial.
2. Time is of the essence: Council has stated that it wants traffic control at this intersection ASAP. It might be worth considering a clause that says something to the effect that if this intersection cannot be improved within a certain time frame, that the $2 Million be used to construct a traffic signal without all of the other intersection improvements.
3. Affirm the Current Position: The Council has the option of declining to request that this project be added to the STIP and reaffirming that it wants a traffic signal ASAP, without the desired intersection improvements, if necessary.
RECOMMENDATION: Approve the attached resolution.