Pearl Road Widening Back on for 2013
City's fight pays off as state reverses decision to delay funding
The second phase of the Pearl Road widening is back on track for next year after a months-long fight by Mayor Tom Perciak.
"It's great news," Perciak said. "This is a project Strongsville needs."
The project will widen Pearl from where it narrows at Ellsworth all the way to the city limits at Boston Road.
Perciak lobbied state and federal officials to get the project back on schedule.
"I can't tell you how many trips to Columbus, how many phone calls, how many meetings this took," he said.
U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton was among those pushing Strongsville's agenda.
"The project is vital to easing traffic issues and ensuring the safety of this corridor," Sutton wrote in a March 8 letter to ODOT. "The city of Strongsville has invested considerable resources in ensuring this project remained under budget and on time.
City officials got word in April 2011 that the state had awarded the next phase of the Pearl Road widening project $6 million.
A week later, the city hired Euthenics Inc., a Cleveland civil engineering firm, to design the plans for about $900,000.
When ODOT, citing a funding crisis, pulled the funding in January, the city never slowed its planning.
"We didn't sit back and cry about it," Perciak said. "We went ahead and finished the engineering and we got the project shovel-ready."
The state money will pay about half the $12 million project. The city plans to contribute $3 million and has been casting around for the additional $3 to $4 million in additional grants.
Perciak said the widening is crucial to business development on Pearl Road and will provide potential manufacturing firms better access in and out of town when the city develops a new section of Foltz Industrial Park.