'Ring Road' is Now Open
Interior street links Pearl Road stores between Sprague and Whitney
The long-in-coming "ring road" to connect retail stores on Pearl Road is open.
It's a short street, but it opens up a whole new avenue for shoppers at Walmart, Home Depot and Lowe's.
Motorists can now travel all the way from Sprague to Whitney without driving on Pearl Road.
The road has been delayed for years by lawsuits and appeals filed by Home Depot, which did not want to be connected to its main competitor, Lowe's.
"It will really make it easier for people driving in that area," Economic Development Director Brent Painter said.
The case stretches back several years, but came to an end in February when the Ohio Supreme Court denied a motion to reconsider the case, giving Lowe's a green light to build an interior access road that would link the Pearl-Sprague stores -- which are now Home Depot and Walmart -- with the stores just south, including Lowe's.
Construction started in March. Law Director Ken Kraus has said there was more than $90,000 in an escrow fund to pay for construction of the roadway.
Home Depot has objected to the ring road with lawsuits and appeals.
The road was supposed to be built by Lowe's and former project developer David Lewanski, but construction was blocked by Home Depot's legal action.
The court eventually ruled in favor of Lowe's, Lewanski and the city. Home Depot appealed, and last year, the Eighth District Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that Home Depot raised no valid objections to the lower court's decision, Kraus said.
Home Depot then went to the Ohio Supreme Court, but the court in late November declined jurisdiction in the case. Home Depot appealed that decision, but the high court refused again early this year.