Springfield neighborhoods see updates with annual street paving project

Along the neighborhood streets in Springfield, the orange barrels and hard hats are a growing presence, but for many, it’s far more a welcome sight than an inconvenience. For the third straight year, the City of Springfield is repairing and repaving roadways off the main thoroughfare as part of the Neighborhood Street Paving Program.

The program took off after Springfield voters approved an earned income tax levy by a 2-to-1 margin in May 2017. One of the commitments the city made was to use those dollars to improve neighborhood streets.

“City officials went to the people of Springfield with a proposal for the future,” says Springfield City Manager Bryan Heck. “It was a time of deep concern for city leaders and area stakeholders, and the solution would mean that we would all have to come together as a community and work collaboratively toward our common interests.”

The 2020 Neighborhood Street Paving Project is currently underway. When it is complete in the fall, the crews will have repaved 37 neighborhood streets across the city. Each year, the city budgets a minimum of $2 million to go toward repaving neighborhood streets.

The street funds were in dire need following the 2008 housing crisis and subsequent recession, combined with a decrease in funding from the State of Ohio, Heck says.

“The loss of this funding was the single largest reason for Springfield’s fiscal crisis. Springfield responded to the cuts with proactive fiscal responsibility by cutting expenses and keeping spending flat for more than 10 years,” he says. “The budget crisis was not our own making, but we did have to make difficult decisions, which included having to cut back on street paving.”

The loss of state funds put the city nearly a decade behind in street paving, Heck adds.

“It put us behind, and it isn’t going to be easy to catch up. But, Springfield is a resilient community that achieves great things by working together,” he says. “We do our personal best each and every day to make that happen for the people of Springfield.”

In 2019, the city hosted four public forums to gather input from the public about future paving projects.

Deciding which streets will be paved next can be complicated, as a lot of factors come into play, says Springfield City Service Director Chris Moore.

“Not all neighborhood streets are the same; some streets have issues that aren’t visible to the naked eye and require more work and materials than others,” Moore says. “We also have to make sure that there are no upcoming utility projects that are planned. We can’t repave a street that will just be dug up again, because that isn’t a good use of our time and resources.”

Traffic access is also a consideration, he says. For example, since Belmont Avenue is currently being repaved, the city can’t also have Miracle Mile under construction because it would cut off southbound traffic access to the north end of the city and vice versa.

The city had hoped to include Kenwood Heights in the 2020 program, but an issue with gas mains in the area led to postponement of the project.

“As the contractor began their work in that area, they discovered gas main issues that the City had not been made aware of,” Heck says. “This was an unusual and unfortunate setback, but we plan to return to that neighborhood and complete the project in 2021.”

Streets paved since 2018 and streets in-process in 2020 include:

  • Berger Avenue
  • Bill Edwards Drive
  • Broadway Street East
  • Broadway Street West
  • Cedarview 
  • Cedarview Drive West to East
  • College Avenue
  • Dibert Avenue
  • Harding Road
  • East Ward Street
  • Edgewood Avenue
  • El Camino Drive
  • Euclid Avenue
  • Englewood Road
  • Fairview Avenue
  • Farnam Street
  • Florence Street
  • Fostoria Avenue
  • Greenwood Avenue
  • Hilltop Avenue
  • Juniper Drive
  • Kensington Place
  • Linden Avenue
  • Maplewood Avenue
  • Oakwood Place
  • Olympic Street
  • Parker Court
  • Race Street,
  • Red Coach Drive
  • Roberts Avenue
  • Roscommon Drive
  • South Clairmont Avenue
  • South Jackson Street
  • Springmont Avenue
  • Tecumseh Road
  • Vester Avenue
  • West Perrin Avenue 
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