The city of Athens could be home to a third roundabout by summer 2017 — this time on Stimson Avenue.
The city is applying for $500,000 in grant money from the Appalachian Regional Commission to help pay for a new access road from Stimson Avenue to Mill Street. Andy Stone, director of Athens’ Department of Engineering and Public Works, said there is currently an access road that runs adjacent to Mill Street Village apartments, but it’s in poor condition.
“It’s not a good road and the intersections aren’t good,” he said.
Stone said the road is seeing more traffic since Ohio University extended South Green Drive to connect to Mill Street. He said he’s concerned that the increased traffic will lead to crashes at the intersections.
According to Stone, the new access road would also provide better access to businesses along the former railroad bed such as Sonic, Jackie O’s Taproom, Stirling Technology Inc. and the former Athens Mold and Machine building. There is also a vacant area that is designated as a manufacturing zone, which would have easy access to the new road if a business were to go into that location.
In addition to a better road, Stone said he wants to place a three-leg roundabout at the intersection of Stimson and the new access road. The roundabout would be just south of the bridge that crosses over the Hocking River.
Stone said the plan is to have the new roadway and roundabout completed by August 2017 before Ohio University move-in.
According to Stone, the city has used ARC grants for other road projects in the city such as Columbus Circle near The Laurels of Athens and the access road to Holzer Clinic.
Besides the ARC grant, Stone said that OU has committed to some funding as has the city. He said the city would also be seeking funding from the Ohio Department of Transportation and other agencies.
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