By Jeff Gallatin
City officials said residents and motorists should be prepared for the proverbial good news-bad news situation when it comes to the upcoming $1.67 million Columbia Road construction project.
In the good news category: Chagrin Valley Paving is scheduled to start the project in April. It is a major rehabilitation project and will extend from Columbia’s intersection with Butternut Ridge Road up to the Lorain Road intersection. The bad news: Work is scheduled to last until September, and there will be one-lane traffic by the Interstate 480 bridge; in addition, project road flaggers will be utilized in other areas when needed.
City officials are pleased the project is getting under way, but aware that the construction will affect traffic in a heavily traveled area.
“It’s a project I know people have been looking for (for) several years,” safety/service Director Scott Thomas said. “There’s been a need to get some major work done in that area for some time, and this work should take care of a lot of the problems.”
He said the one-lane area will be located by the I-480 bridge with work zone traffic signals scheduled to be used to maintain the one-lane traffic. In the remaining work areas on Columbia, two-way traffic will be maintained with flaggers.
Thomas said having Chagrin Valley as the construction company will help.
“They’ll be handling the flaggers and maintaining traffic in those areas,” he said. “It helps that they’ve handled big projects like this before and are experienced at dealing with what comes in this type of work.”
North Olmsted police Capt. Mike Kilbane said the police department is also preparing for the upcoming project.
“Our engineering and service departments are very good at communicating with us about what is going on in those type of construction areas,” he said. “We also will have all the construction company contact info so we can reach someone quickly if there is an after-hours problem that needs to be dealt with.”
Thomas said in addition to the precautions being taken with the construction company and city workers, the city is also taking steps to notify homeowners in the construction area.
“We’re distributing fliers all throughout the construction area letting people know about the upcoming work,” he said. “We realize it’s going to be a little rough at times, but ask people to be patient and think of the end result of a much better roadway.”