City Councilors approved the repaving of High Street and Patterson Avenue and the addition of median dividers on those roads during the Oct. 1 City Council meeting.
The construction will be a joint project between the city and Miami University, said Cody Powell, Miami’s associate vice president of facilities planning and operations.
“We were also approached by the city of Oxford because … they plan years in advance for their city paving projects,” Powell said. “So it was a good time for us to sit down as a team between the city and the university and say, ‘Okay, what types of things might we want to try to accomplish so that we’re not tearing up brand new paved streets?’”
Powell said Miami asked the city to apply for Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) safety grants to help pay for the High Street median dividers. This means that Miami will pay for any costs associated with the dividers that aren’t covered by the grants, but the city will act as the local administrator of the project.
As the local administrator, the city will be able to choose which construction company will complete the work, as opposed to ODOT charging more money to do the work internally.
The High Street median dividers will replace sections of the center turning lane and act as a safe stopping point if pedestrians require extended crossing time. They will be modeled after the ones installed over the summer in 2018 on Patterson Avenue, which Powell said the university considered to be a “successful project.”
Along with adding median dividers on High Street, Powell said the university will also be widening and repaving the south-side sidewalk (where Hughes, Laws, Roudebush and Ogden Halls are located) to allow for more foot and bike traffic.
The construction plans will add two median dividers on Patterson Avenue: one near Bishop Woods and one between the Farmer School of Business (FSB) and the Psychology Building, Powell added.
Powell said the project will benefit Miamians and Oxford residents alike.
“We believe it’s in the best interest, not only for the university, but also for the city,” Powell said. “Otherwise we wouldn’t be making this choice.”
Construction is set to begin this summer.