The city is wasting no time getting Phase 2 of the off the ground.
A week after learning Strongsville had been awarded a $6 million grant toward widening Pearl from Drake Road to the city limits at Boston Road, the city has hired an engineering firm to draw up the plans.
Euthenics Inc., a Cleveland civil engineering firm, will be paid around $900,000 to design the project, which will expand Pearl Road to five lanes from where it narrows south of Drake Road to the top of Stoney Hill, according to Mayor Tom Perciak.
City Council approved the contract April 18.
Perciak acknowledged he is racing ahead with the project to lock in better prices.
"This is the time," he said. "There's no question that as the economy begins to perk up, interest rates are going to increase and construction costs are going to increase."
Strongsville officials learned last week the city had been awarded $6 million for the project from the Ohio Department of Transportation, putting Phase 2, which had been on hold, back on the fast track.
Strongville is expected to put $3 million into the $12.7 million project, leaving funding about $3.7 million short right now.
Perciak said the city intends to seek other grants to make up the difference. He said work on the road will start in summer or fall 2013.
The of the widening project, which is expanding Pearl Road to five lanes from the post office to a point just south of Drake Road, is expected to wrap up within a few months.
Phase 2 will include five lanes all the way to the top of the hill. Perciak said all five lanes may not be used right away at Boston Road, but will be available for future use.
"People in the south part of the community have been sitting in traffic all these years," Perciak said. "This will make it safer and quicker for them, and will be the last corridor we need to open up the business park."