Residents living northwest of the Ohio Turnpike will have reason to celebrate once a $270,000 project is completed.
A retention basin will be installed next to the highway in 2015 to help deal with water problems, the Ohio Department of Transportation announced last Tuesday at Amherst city hall.
District III deputy director Allen Biehl said the project will be a part of a $4 million statewide initiative.
When he started his job with ODOT three years ago, Biehl talked to mayor David Taylor to find out how the two could improve their working relationship. At the time, Taylor said he didn’t have any issues with ODOT but asked if something could do to help Amherst’s flooding issues.
There were no easy solutions at the time, but more collaborative work between ODOT and turnpike road divisions are now making such projects much easier, Biehl said.
The Amherst project is one half of what the city and Amherst Township applied for jointly, according to ODOT spokeswoman Christine Myers.
The other part asked for a second retention basin to be built farther east along the highway, near the turnpike and Oberlin Road crossing.
Myers said that basin needs more environmental work before the remaining $270,00 funds can be approved.
Biehl said he expects it to go through during the next application round later this year.
Taylor said he’s excited by the announcement. He said the new basin will build on the success of the $2 million downtown storm sewer line the city installed in the past year to prevent flooding.
The total cost of the first retention basin to be built is $330,000. Amherst will pick up the $60,000 remainder after the state funds are released.
Two more Lorain County projects were approved, including pavement repairs along Rt. 57 and guardrail improvements on Abbe Road in Elyria.
Caitlyn Wasmundt may be reached at 440-988-2801 or on Twitter @LC_CaitW.