By Sue Botos
Residents in the Beachcliff Boulevard/Frazier Drive area are bracing for the next major city sewer project, as City Council has approved legislation to begin phase 2 of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-mandated work in the area.
At Monday’s legislative session, council agreed to enter into a contract with DiGioia Suburban Excavating for the project. According to ordinance sponsor John Shepherd, there were four bids, with DiGioia’s $3,571,837.60 being the best, coming in under city engineer Michael Mackay’s estimate of $3,730,000.
Over the past few weeks, there had been some discussion among council members about giving the measure the usual three readings, or stepping up the process with fewer readings. As a result, a special legislative meeting was held prior to the Dec. 6 budget hearing, during which the measure was read for the second time. It was heard by council a third time prior to Monday’s passage.
The project will include the removal and replacement of storm sewers on Beachcliff and Frazier; removal and replacement of sanitary sewers on Falmouth Drive, Beachcliff and Frazier; plus pavement removal and replacement on Beachcliff and Frazier. Shepherd said that DiGioia has done satisfactory prior work in the city, including the projects on Lake Road and Valley View.
Councilman at Large David Furry noted that phase 1 of the project, the improvement of waterlines in the Beachcliff/Frazier area, was completed over the summer by the Cleveland Division of Water. Due to the city’s agreement with Cleveland Water, the $700,000 cost was covered.
The project, as well as other recent sewer work, is in response to an estimated $70 to $80 million of unfunded mandates from the federal EPA, which have demanded that sanitary and storm sewer overflows be eliminated, and that old conduits, some dating back to the 1920s and 1930s, be replaced. The Beachcliff/Frazier work will be funded by a 30-year, zero-interest Ohio Public Works loan.
Mayor Pam Bobst commented that preconstruction meetings and preparation for the project could begin in January, and that it would be overseen by both Mackay and the construction company engineer. “We are serious about being on time and on budget,” she stated, adding that there will be communication with residents throughout the project so that they will know what to expect.
“January through October will be highly disruptive,” she stated.