Updates on Rockside Business District Infrastructure Projects
Rockside Road Widening and I-77 Southbound Entrance Ramp Widening Project
In July, the City received bids from six reputable highway contractors for the major widening project, ranging from $1.5 Million to $2.4 Million (the Engineer’s Estimate was $2.0 Million). On July 12 City Council awarded the construction contract to the lowest and best bidder, Anthony Allega Cement Contractor, Inc. The contractor mobilized to the site mid-August and performed tree clearing work in the affected work areas on the west side of the I-77 southbound entrance ramp. Late August through the early-part of September, Allega installed pre-cast concrete drainage structures on either side of the ramp near the Rockside Road intersection. They also excavated and placed aggregate base along the entire west-side of the ramp in preparation for the pavement widening there. Asphalt paving along the west side of the ramp should take place early in October. Allega spent the latter part of September excavating and placing concrete at the west corner of the intersection. Weekend work has taken place whenever appropriate, so as to minimize construction impacts to weekday rush hour traffic.
September also saw major demolition work take place at the former BP gas station site, including removal of the canopy, building, pump islands, underground storage tanks and asphalt pavement. A strict procedure and protocol is being followed to properly remediate petroleum-impacted soils, and upon completion of that process, the tank excavation will be completely backfilled and the area restored with topsoil and grass. Storm sewer and catch basin installation and excavation along Rockside Road will soon follow, in preparation for the concrete widening work on Rockside Road across the gas station frontage. The project is generally proceeding according to schedule, and continues to track towards substantial completion in December 2016.
Due to the present geometric configuration and traffic congestion at the I-77 & I-480 interchange (due-north of Rockside Road), ODOT and FHWA design guidelines have prevented the City from making improvements to the eastbound Rockside Road entrance ramp to I-77 northbound. So in addition to this $1.554 Million construction project, the City has a traffic engineering consulting firm, GPD Group, currently studying other significant improvements to the I-77 exit ramps at Rockside Road, as well as to the Rockside Road corridor, which we are confident will result in “global benefits” to the motoring public, including those wishing to travel north on I-77 to eastbound or westbound I-480. The City hopes to finalize the study early in 2017, so as to begin to secure funding for what will eventually be significant roadway and signalization upgrades, thus continuing the City’s effort and commitment to make positive improvements to safety and traffic flow in the Rockside Road Business District.
Rockside Place Improvements and Streetscape Project
Work began this past August on the $650,000 project. Our contractor, S.E.T., Inc., completed installation of storm sewers and water mains, which connected two dead-end mains, and thus created a “closed-loop” water distribution system along Rockside Place, Rockside Road, and North Rockside Woods Boulevard. This past September, S.E.T. installed all the street light pole foundations, including all the electrical conduit and pull-boxes which will eventually house the electrical circuits that will power the new street lights. Excavation and aggregate base work has been performed to accommodate the widened concrete pavement at the hard 90-degree bend in the road by the Bonefish Grill. The concrete for this widening will be completed early in October. Two decorative brick-paver crosswalks will also be installed early in October. New concrete sidewalks will be complete before the end of October. Street light installation, tree planting, and final restoration should be substantially complete by Thanksgiving.