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Topping Road resurfacing project grant to be withdrawn

A resolution was passed at the Aug. 26 Town & Country Board of Aldermen meeting that will withdrawal an application previously submitted to the East-West Gateway Council of Governments for a surface transportation block grant.

The grant would have provided funding for phase two of the Topping Road resurfacing and pedestrian improvement project. The resolution had been on the council’s Aug. 12 meeting agenda; however, it was continued until the Aug. 26 meeting.

The decision to withdraw the grant application refers back to phase one of the project, which included the installation of a multi-use pedestrian facility and the resurfacing of Topping Road from Clayton Road to Topping Estates/Kent Manor. In response to resident feedback during an open house held by the Topping Road task force, aldermen from wards 1 and 2 recommended revising phase one from an 8-foot asphalt to 5-foot concrete trail. The change would result in the removal of less vegetation, additional room for drainage and enhanced privacy for abutting residents. The East-West Gateway approved the change in scope with no change in grant funding.

To align with phase one, the changes in scoring criteria would require the city to reapply for the grant, which includes the same scope of work from Kent Manor to the Pingry Place terminus.

An Aug. 9 memo on the project from City Administrator Bob Shelton noted the following projections:

  • Estimated cost for phase two roadway: $662,800
  • Estimated cost for phase two trail: $618,700
  • Engineering/ROW/inspection/contingency: $561,889
  • Total cost estimate for phase two: $1,843,398

With the project 45% federally funded, the cost to the city with the grant would have been $1,013,869. The estimated cost to the city without the grant is $1,262,800, a difference of $248,931. By withdrawing the phase two application, the city could resurface the entire roadway in 2021 rather than waiting to resurface phase two in 2023. That action would be more economical and could result in additional cost savings by not having to fulfill certain grant requirements.

The unbudgeted amount of $248,931 will be discussed as part of the 2020 budget this fall.  

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