Road Construction, Federal Funding Possible For Manchester's Henry Avenue
The cities of Manchester and Ballwin could apply for federal funding for improvements to Henry Avenue.
The cities of Manchester and Ballwin may soon work together on a Henry Avenue road construction project.
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Monday, Manchester aldermen discussed applying for a grant, in conjunction with the City of Ballwin, for improvements to Henry Avenue.
The approximate 11,300 feet of the road, which is a little over 2 miles, runs between Clayton and Manchester roads.
The street runs through both Manchester and Ballwin. However, Manchester City Engineer Ed Blattner said the majority of the road is located in Ballwin with an approximate 62/38 percent split.
The two cities are considering applying for an East/West Gateway Grant in 2013 that would offer federal funds for improvements to the road, including stormwater, street overlay and adding ADA compliant sidewalks.
The project is estimated to cost a total of $2.5 million.
"It's a moving target right now. That's our best estimate," Blattner tells Patch.
Manchester has delayed the work in the past due to cost, but this grant opportunity is making the project a likely reality.
"The federal funding, if you get it, covers 80 percent of the total cost, which is pretty good," Blatter explained. He points out the grant only covers 80 percent of design and construction costs.
The two cities would then have to fund the remaining portions of their part of the project with Ballwin picking up the larger portion of the tab due to the location of the road.
"They will spend more, but get a bigger reimbursement," Blattner explained.
He also points out there is no guarantee that if the two cities apply for the grant that it will be awarded to them.
"There's no guarantee that the application will be approved," Blattner tells Patch. "There's lot of competition for that money."
The hope is that the two cities increase the chance of receiving approval for the grant money if they work together on the Henry Avenue project and submit a joint application.
Manchester's board of aldermen could vote on whether or not to apply for the grant at the next meeting on Dec. 17.
The cost of applying for the grant is approximately .5 percent of the total grant figure Blattner explained.
Blattner said if both cities agree to move forward on the project, the grant application will likely be applied for in February or March of 2013. He said East-West Gateway usually makes decisions in late spring on grant approvals, but that time frame is not guaranteed.
If applied for and approved, Blattner said the earliest work could begin on Henry Avenue would be in 2014.
"It takes a long time to go through the process," he added.