WOODMERE – The Ohio Department of Transportation has taken a step to allay the village’s cash flow concerns for its project to widen Chagrin Boulevard, slated for construction in 2024. The $ 4.6 million project will add a western lane between East Brainard Road and Orange Place drive.
Before the road can be widened, the village has to buy land from several landowners along Chagrin. Councilor Seth Young, chairman of the finance committee, expressed concerns about the village’s cash flow due to the expected large payments for the acquisition of rights of way. The Department of Transportation agreed to pay the landowners directly instead of reimbursing the village. ODOT will also pay the consultants who will write valuations and quotes on the properties.
The Department of Transportation will contribute $ 2.7 million to the project, with the remaining $ 1.9 million from a grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission.
“We have limited resources,” said village engineer Ed Hren on Monday. “We’re going to have some large payments that we had to borrow to make payments only to be refunded. This has really removed a lot of the work that would be associated with securing funding through a loan. It made a faster process possible. That doesn’t happen often. “
The village first requested that ODOT pay the property owners right before the COVID-19 pandemic started and their application was denied. Mr Young advised the village to ask again because of the impact the pandemic had on Woodmere. The village relies on income tax revenues, Mr Hren said, which fell significantly while the shops were closed. There are more than 300 companies in Woodmere.
Acquisition of the right of way begins in January 2022 and can take six months to a year, said Mr Hren. KMJM Land Services, LLC will conduct the property purchase process and Smith and Nejedlik Company will review the valuations.
Then an AT&T channel formation must be laid. The line, which includes phone, internet, and cable lines, is currently under the sidewalk. If the road is widened, it will be under the curb, which would affect catch basins and storm sewers, Mr Hren said. The line is pushed back 6-7 feet from the road.
“It doesn’t take long to lay the cable duct in the ground, but it is changing from old cables to new cables. This work has to be done at night, ”said Mr. Hren, adding that overnight is the best time to cause minimal disruption. “There is such a dependency on this particular pipe run.”
During the November 9th Supply Committee meeting, Mr. Young asked if the Speedway gas station in Chagrin and East Brainard was losing some of its pumps due to the road widening. Beth Fulton of Chagrin Valley Engineering said the right of way acquisition team will review the value of their land and the cost of removing and rebuilding such a device.
“The property owner is responsible for moving everything, signs and anything else that might get in the way,” said Ms. Fulton. “But they will be compensated for it.”
Mr Hren said the schedule would allow construction to start in the summer of 2023, but he would prefer to start in the spring of 2024. Starting work in the summer will shorten the construction season, he said. If something unexpected happens and the project needs to be closed, it is much more expensive to start a second time. Mr Hren also said the village did not want construction barrels on shagrin during the Christmas shopping season.
“We are making progress,” he said of the road expansion project. “The wheels are starting to turn, these are positive steps and we are starting to see progress.”