NORTH ROYALTON – For the second time in a row, the city was turned down for Issue One funding for Edgerton and Tilby roads but there is a silver lining.
The long-anticipated Royalton Road widening has been awarded $3.5 million, and the Sprague Road widening was also granted $1 million for engineering costs.
Though residents have been hearing for decades the Royalton Road widening is on the horizon, it truly is on the cusp of reality now. The project is expected to go out to bid in the New Year with construction beginning in 2018 starting with phase one between West 130th Street to just past the eastern driveway of the Service Department at 11545 Royalton Road. Phase two, which is set to begin in 2019, picks up there and ends at York Road. Each phase is expected to take one full construction season to finish. Within each phase, either the northern or southern section of the roadway, whichever the contractor decides, will be completed first before moving on to the other half.
It’s a $14.5 million project, according to estimates earlier this year, with the federal government funding 80 percent and the county and city splitting the remaining 20 percent. The $3.5 million will be put toward the local match.
The plan is to widen this stretch to three lanes. The center turning lane will greatly reduce back-ups and congestion caused by motorists trying to turn into businesses along this heavily-traveled thoroughfare. It will also include sidewalks on both sides and an enclosed stormwater system.
Widening would be done primarily to the southern portion of the roadway because utility lines to the north pose an obstacle.
The Cuyahoga County Department of Public Works is administering the project, HNTB is the outside consultant performing the design work and the Ohio Department of Transportation is overseeing the project because federal funds are involved.
The Sprague widening involves not only North Royalton but Strongsville, Parma and Middleburg Heights and will be a total reconstruction of this 2-mile stretch spanning from Webster Road to York. It will also be widened to three lanes and includes sidewalks, the replacement of water lines, a sanitary sewer line installation in Parma and the conversion of open ditches into enclosed stormwater drainage for a grand total of $18 million according to earlier estimates this year.
The first phase, slated for 2019, will begin with the Strongsville/Middleburg stretch between Webster and West 130th, and the second phase, commencing 2020, the Royalton/Parma stretch between West 130th and York.
North Royalton and Parma cannot be done first because septic tanks there have to be replaced with sanitary sewer lines first.
Mayor Bob Stefanik said he is disappointed both projects have taken so long but is relieved start dates are in sight.
“I’m disappointed it’s taken this long to complete the Sprague project that’s been on the books for 10 years. The project has been rescheduled on more than one occasion, but it looks like the project is a go at this point for 2019-2020,” he said. “When I moved to North Royalton in 1985, there was talk then that Royalton Road would be widened. As each year passed, it seemed the project was pushed further into the future. We began in 2008 to refocus our energy on making sure this project wouldn’t get postponed or delayed any longer. Since I took office, we have worked closely with local, state and federal elected officials to ensure this project would move forward. The infusion of $3.5 million ensures the project’s on track and will begin in 2018.”
As for Edgerton, between Bennett and Ridge roads, and Tilby, between York and Ridge roads, this was the second failed attempt at funding.
The stretch of Edgerton is .8 miles in length and is estimated at $635,000, and Tilby is 1.2 miles with resurfacing costs estimated there at $830,000.
The city is applying through the county for $250,000 to assist with Edgerton. Tilby is not a county road, so the county will not contribute to that project.
There’s no word yet if these two will be included in the 2017 Roads Program or not, but Stefanik said the city will be evaluating things in the coming year.