By Sue Botos
While Avalon Road residents might be glad that rough and rutted pavement may help discourage speeders in their neighborhood, they are getting tired of daily dodging potholes and cracks.
City officials say that help is on the way in the form of a new paving process.
City Council began discussion of the repaving, which will be a pilot project for the city, at its recent legislative session. Chagrin Valley Paving Inc., contractors for other city projects, has been selected to do the work.
Mayor Pam Bobst noted that Avalon has been in need of resurfacing for a number years, having served as a detour during the lengthy Lake Road work. However, the area is due for a major sewer project, which will tear up the street surface. “We’ve had a lot of complaints about Avalon. We know we have a large sewer project coming up, but with EPA priorities, we have to buy time in a cost-effective way,” she stated, adding that the expected life of the new surface is about six years.
To smooth the street during that time, a new process, used successfully in Cleveland Heights, will be demonstrated. The ordinance’s sponsor, Ward 4 Councilman John Shepherd, explained that the process uses a “double-chip seal and emulsion” as opposed to the more traditional asphalt method. He said that the Cleveland Heights streets done in 2007 are still in good shape.
According to Shepherd, the lowest of three bidders for the project, Cross-Roads Asphalt Recycling Inc., was disqualified from consideration due to providing false information. Shepherd said that Cross-Roads’ references were checked, as part of the due diligence process, and it was found that the company had no experience in the “double-chip seal and fog seal” procedure that will be used.
A memo from city engineer Michael Mackay stated that Ron McKinley of Cross-Roads was also contacted and asked to provide specific details about similar projects. He could not do so, admitting that he had never performed a “double-chip and fog seal” project.
Chagrin Valley Paving will do the work for $176,180.15, using Specialized Construction as a subcontractor on the project. When Councilman at Large Michael Harvey noted that Cross-Roads would probably have hired Specialized Construction as well, and that their bid was $143,327.77, council members expressed concern over Cross-Roads’ integrity. “We didn’t feel safe using them,” Shepherd stated.
Specialized Construction did the paving portion of the Cleveland Heights projects, as well as work in North Royalton and Lake County.
A grant and a zero-interest loan have been secured, according to Bobst, to finance the project, which she said will cost less than traditional paving. She said that residents had been notified of the work as early as last fall, because they will need to do some planning.
According to safety service Director Mary Kay Costello, the pavement has a curing period of about four weeks, as opposed to traditional asphalt, which can tolerate loads almost immediately. During this time, residents can drive their cars over it, but any heavy trucks that frequent the area for landscaping and remodeling projects would be banned during this time.
Work is expected to begin within the next month.