TID applying for TRAC

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – The Transportation Improvement District and representatives of Belmont County, St.?Clairsville and invested businesses will place the issue of the Mall Road Interchange before the state.

The TID will make a presentation to the Ohio Department of Transportation Sept. 10 in Canton, requesting funding through the TRAC program.

“We hope that they see that this project is worthy of funding,” said Belmont County Commissioner and TID member Matt Coffland, adding that an approval would be a good investment in the county. He noted that the connector remained the only point in question, since both sides are funded.

“We have secured all of the local funding,” Coffland said. “We basically have both sides funded. This would be the connector.”

In attendance or speaking will be the TID, commissioners, Richland Township trustees, the Cafaro and Equity companies that are responsible for work on either side, St. Clairsville’s mayor and other representatives of the county and township.

He added that the TID would soon know if TRAC funding has been granted.

“If is accepted, work on both sides should start very soon.”

The project will connect National Road with Mall Road behind the Ohio Valley Plaza and include a bridge over Interstate 70, constructed by ODOT.

Belmont County officials are asking for $900,000 in funds this year, and $10 million for 2015-2016. The commissioners have devoted $1.9 million for their section, which will start at National Road near the city limit and extend west behind Sam’s Club at the plaza, then south behind Lowe’s Home Improvement store and connect with the ODOT bridge.

The Cafaro Company is building a road behind the mall for development. The county is in the process of acquiring land and negotiating price for property for the project.

DeFrank can be reached at rdefrank@timesleaderonline.com