LIMA — Both of Lima’s large regional hospitals may have some additional street improvements coming down the line alongside large private investment projects if Lima City Council approves.
Lima Public Works Director Howard Elstro said the city moved forward with upgrades to the Bellefontaine Avenue and Shawnee Street intersection after being approached by Lima Memorial Health System. Back in August 2019, Lima Memorial announced a $30 million expansion to meet increasing demand for outpatient services, and Elstro said the city recognized that the intersection could use improvements, such as adding a turn lane on Bellefontaine Avenue, to deal with the extra vehicular and pedestrian needs expected to hit the intersection once Lima Memorial’s upgrade is completed.
An expected upgrade at Market and Collett streets just south of Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Medical Center campus came along in a similar vein.
“There’s already significant pedestrian traffic on Market Street,” Elstro said. “With the addition of 100 new grad students coming to the campus, (Mercy Health) recognized and we concurred that additional pedestrian updates should be considered.”
Just across the street from the hospital campus, Mercy Health is currently constructing a new 48,000-square-foot Graduate Medical Education Center to serve as a training center for resident physicians looking to expand their skills, and students are expected to make additional use of the intersection.
Upgrades are set to include a raised median to ease pedestrian crossings across Market Street and additional signage to draw attention to the updated crosswalks.
The two projects are expected to use $130,000 from the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Division of Jobs & Commerce, $145,000 from Ohio Public Works Commission, $4,750 from Lima Memorial and $64,000 from the City of Lima.
If city council approves the hospital improvements project Monday, the project will be bid out in June and construction on the street improvements is expected to begin in August.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.