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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.

The Ohio Department of Transportation, which , has reversed its decision and agreed to give the city $6 million in 2013.

"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  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.

 

Debbie Palmer June 07, 2012 at 07:55 PM
James, the way the mayor explained it to me, a two-lane Pearl Road, with traffic tie-ups during rush hour, isn't a great selling point to companies thinking about moving into the industrial park. Companies want to see they'd have quick access to interstates, to move both products and employees. A wider Pearl Road would get traffic to I-71 interchanges in either Strongsville or Brunswick (and to the airport, the turnpike, or downtown Cleveland) more smoothly and with fewer backups. At least, that's my understanding.
lyn June 07, 2012 at 09:41 PM
Seems a stretch to use the expansion of Foltz as a reason to widen Pearl, since Brunswick is only 2 lanes. Lets face it, he was pulling a fast one to get funding and it worked. Too bad ODOT isn't more on top of monitoring the reasons behind the applications for funds. If they were, this hokey justification would have been thrown out. Will they make Boston Rd. from Pearl to the new Foltz 4 lanes and Pearl from Brunswick to Boston 4 lanes? If not, its a bunch of baloney. And waste of tax dollars that should have been used elsewhere. It sounded good, but if anyone knew the area - they would laugh at the artificial reason. Of course trucks and cars will continue to use 82 and Prospect, and some will use Drake. I agree, as I read elsewhere - ODOT was fooled!!
lyn June 07, 2012 at 11:02 PM
I was just rereading the article and Debbie's comment, and realized I had missed another glaring FALSEHOOD. TRAFFIC. REALLY? I have lived very near this location for over 30 years, and the ONLY time I EVER saw a traffic problem was when Petitti first opened - maybe 5 cars backed up. However, at the Boston/Pearl intersection there is ONE problem. At evening rush, traffic heading west on Boston backs up at Pearl. How about fixing a REAL problem? Not some made up one. So, the mayor is not concerned about 71/Howe/82, but this part of Pearl, where there is NEVER a traffic problem? Does he ever drive in these sections? Or, does he just use these reasons to justify his actions for doing things? If I was Debbie, listening to his FAKE reasons for the widening (traffic on Pearl and for access to Foltz), I think I would have been rolling my eyes and saying, "really, are you kidding me? Did ODOT really buy that?"
Tom Brennan June 08, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Please, the mayor conveniently forgets to mention that the Catan family owns 49+ acres of undeveloped property on the south end of Pearl Road, that's the business interest that really matters. Meanwhile, after being closed for over a year he warns that the repairs to Albion Road near Bonnie Park are going to be really expensive. Never mind the fact that many of the residents of Ward 1 have been inconvenienced and had their safety compromised due to lengthened response times for police and fire. It's just too bad that pesky Metroparks property is not open to commercial development, maybe something would have been done by now.
KLF June 12, 2012 at 01:26 PM
This shows how the city administrators' agenda is out of touch with reality and bent on it's own agenda. Next election, I'll be sure to check the box not named Perciak (and others currently involved in this sham). Any idea how much they spent to put the welcome wall on 71N exit at 82? Fiscal responsibility in a tough economy is lacking to me here. As Tom mentioned above, it is especially troubling in light of the needs of the residents of Albion Rd area. I don't even live near there and I'm shaking my head in disgust with all that is being done and what should be done and isn't.

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