NORTH ROYALTON – City leaders from North Royalton, Strongsville, Parma and Middleburg Heights met last week to discuss the widening of Sprague Road between Webster and York roads, a project that’s been on the books for years and will finally move forward in 2019.
At the meeting, arranged by Mayor Bob Stefanik, he, City Engineer Mark Schmitzer, Strongsville Mayor Thomas Perciak and the city engineers from the two other cities debated two options for the long-awaited project – the original resurfacing plan and also a complete reconstruction. The group settled on the total reconstruction of the 2-mile stretch to include the addition of a center turning lane, new sidewalks, the replacement of water lines, sanitary sewer line installation in Parma and the conversion of open ditches into enclosed storm water drainage, a grand total of $18 million as proposed.
The cities could have settled on the less expensive first option but all agreed it wouldn’t be the right approach for this heavily traveled thoroughfare.
“We could have done a simple paving project. To rehabilitate the existing pavement, which would have included sanitary lines for the Parma section, leave the ditches and keep it two lanes would have cost $7 million,” Stefanik said. “Right away, we said no. The consensus of the four cities was to go with the major reconstruction option which entails enclosing the stormwater ditches and constructing a center turning lane throughout the length of the project.”
They agreed on a two-phase approach spanning two years.
The first phase, slated for 2019, would begin with the Strongsville/Middleburg stretch between Webster and West 130th Street. The second phase, commencing in 2020, would be the Royalton/Parma stretch between West 130th and York.
North Royalton and Parma can’t be done first because septic tanks in Parma have to be replaced with sanitary sewer lines, at a cost of $2.5 million alone.
The proposal calls for increasing the existing lanes from 9 feet to 11, leaving the shoulders 2 feet wide, and adding a third lane, a center turning lane of 11 feet, increasing the roadways width 15 feet from 22 to 37 feet total. It would be done in concrete, to a depth of 10 inches, with 6-inch curbs. Sidewalks will be 5 feet wide on both sides of the road with 4 ½-5-feet tree lawns.
The right of way is a total of 60 feet wide, 30 feet from the center of the road to each side, so land acquisitions will likely not be necessary for the most part because officials say there is ample room to widen as proposed.
The cost breakdown of the $18 million is $13.5 million for the project, $2 million in contingency and $2.5 million in inflation. Of the $13.5 million, the roadway is $1.1 million, pavement is $4.5 million, drainage is $3.4 million, water work is $1.5 million, the sanitary sewer work for Parma’s section is $2.5 million, and miscellaneous costs are $500,000.
North Royalton and Parma’s stretch, the eastern section, is a total of $12 million, and Strongsville and Middleburg’s, the western section, is $6 million total. Of the Royalton/Parma stretch, the Ohio Public Works Commission will fund $6 million, Cuyahoga County will fund $2.4 million, Royalton’s share will be $1.2 million – $1.06 million for the road and storm water costs and $125,000 for the water work – and Parma’s share is $2.4 million.
Of the Strongsville/Middleburg stretch, OPWC will pay $3 million, the county will pay $1.5 million, Strongsville and Middleburg will each shoulder $750,000.
Stefanik said North Royalton will be leveraging partnerships with both Cleveland Water and the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District to try and offset its share and has time on its side to help plan.
“The water line is on the Parma side, but we would share in the cost because it services North Royalton. We will see if Cleveland Water will pick up the cost as they have done in the past with projects in North Royalton, such as the Bennett Road hill and on Route 82 between Prince Charles and the city line,” he said. “The $1.2 million is the worst number we will have to come up with. We have four years to plan for that, and I don’t see any problem coming up with that money in the four-year period.”
The county will facilitate the project.
A resurfacing project had been planned here for some time.
“This has been on the books since 2003, and it was pushed off to 2022. The project has expanded into more than it was originally. What was going to be a resurfacing, has turned into three lanes and now the replacement of water lines, stormwater and adding sanitary lines in Parma,” Stefanik explained.
Community Development Director Tom Jordan said this is a welcome enhancement for this area of town. Sprague is one of only two main traffic arteries that provide direct access to I-71.
“The Timber Ridge Shopping Plaza, which has suffered from vacancy, will have better access to their customer base in the neighboring communities of Parma, Strongsville and Middleburg,” he said. “Retail shopping is very much about convenience, and I believe this improvement will help this retail near the York Road intersection.”