Officials: Middletown’s $31.3 million paving project to have ‘a huge positive impact’ on city

Vice Mayor Joe Mulligan said the two-year paving project in Middletown will improve more than the condition of the deteriorating roads.

It also will give Middletown residents more pride and confidence in their neighborhoods and increase property values that will lead to improvements throughout the city, Mulligan said.

“A huge positive impact on our city” is how Mulligan described the project.

Middletown voters overwhelming approved a 1/4 of 1%, 10-year income tax levy in November with the promise the city would issue bonds to complete paving 100 lanes miles of the city’s worst streets during the 2021 and 2022 paving seasons.

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Bonds have been issued and $31.3 million has been deposited in a dedicated Street Levy Fund for exclusive use on street paving, City Manager Jim Palenick said.

With the historically low interest rate of 1.48%, highly competitive bid structure and process, Middletown was able to secure a additional $4 million in paving that will be used to pave approximately 20 lane miles of additional streets, Palenick said. He said the additional miles may not be complete by the end of 2022 and may “bleed” into 2023.

He said city will be paving one-third of the city streets, totaling more than $51 million after state funds and routine paving.

On Tuesday, Mayor Nicole Condrey, Councilwoman Ami Vitori and Mulligan echoed what other members of council have said: Residents made it clear their No. 1 priority was improved streets.

Many people have told Condrey “fix our roads,” she said.

With the paving project, improved economic development and additional social services in the city, Condrey said metaphorically and physically it will be difficult for residents to find “a bad road to take.”

Vitori called the repaving project the first of many “game-changers” in the city, referring to the possible development on the banks of the Great Miami River and the redevelopment of the Towne Mall Galleria.

On Tuesday afternoon, at the corner of Roosevelt Boulevard and Cleveland Street, with workers repaving the road in the background, the “Pardon Our Progress” paving kickoff was celebrated. To mark the occasion, a piece of “caution” tape was cut by city and community leaders, politicians and those who served on the campaign committee.

Pete Flora, vice president of commercial division for John Jurgerson Co. that was awarded the contract, called paving 100 lane miles in the city “a massive, massive” road project.

He congratulated city leaders and staff for taking a “very aggressive” approach to the project by completing 10 to 15 years of paving in two years. He said that move would save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars since the cost of labor, materials and equipment would have increased over time.

He called it “one of the smartest moves” he had ever seen by an Ohio city.

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