Emergency funds provide the help needed to repair Northpointe.
In May, Governor John Kasich declared an emergency on federal routes in Ohio due to heavy rains, Northpointe is a federal route and qualifies for money from the Federal Highway Administration. Last week the Muskingum County Engineer met with the feds and showed them the seven slips on the roadway. The Ohio Department of Transportation is now meeting with a consultant to negotiate the cost of the project which could top $1.7 million.
"If we had started construction already then whatever was already spent wouldn't have been counted as federal funds, so that would have been out of local pocket," said Muskingum County Engineer Doug Davis. "Obviously my budget would take a hit. The Commissioners were going to step up and have to borrow money from the community. This let's us have the money in the community to do other things."
Once ODOT reaches an agreement with the consultant the project will be put out to bid. It will be 100% funded by the government if it's finished within 180 days. If the project exceeds that time frame only 80% will be federally funded and 20% will come from local money. Boring samples will also be taken.
"Some of this area was strip mined years ago," explained Davis. "Some of it was not and the borings will be able to determine whether we are still in mine spoil."
The largest slip on the roadway sits on top of 45ft of mine spoil. Unfortunately for motorists once the project is underway Northpointe will be closed going north and south. The northbound closure will start at Richvale.
There is no timeline for when the project will begin.