North Avenue will get needed face lift

City secures funding from ODOT to help with portion of costs

by Holly Schoenstein | reporter Published:

Tallmadge -- Sections of North Avenue will experience a face lift of sorts -- in the near future and over the next few years -- starting with improving the intersection near the Summit County Fairgrounds this spring.

Late this summer or early fall, North Avenue from near Howe Road north to near Northmoreland Avenue in Munroe Falls will be resurfaced, and in 2016 another stretch of North Avenue will be replaced, along with curbs, storm drains, sidewalks and landscaping.

Other improvements include replacing traffic signals at the intersection of North Avenue and Overdale Drive.

The total price tag for all of the work is about $5.7 million, according to Pat Sauner, Tallmadge's community development director.

The city is able to move forward on the projects because of funding from the Ohio Department of Transportation, according to city officials.

New turn lane, resurfacing

The first project involves adding a center turn lane to the intersection of the entrances/exits of the fairgrounds and the Fox Ridge subdivision and resurfacing a section of North Avenue.

The intersection has two lanes for northbound and two for southbound traffic with no turn lane.

"That's a difficult turning movement there, when there's activities at the fairgrounds, for that allotment," Sauner said, noting that traffic tends to back up. "It will be an improvement to that intersection and will help everybody out up there."

Workers from the city's street department will create the turn lane, and when the rest of that section of North Avenue is paved during the late summer or early fall, the intersection will be, too.

The cost of creating the intersection, less the paving costs that are including in the larger resurfacing project for this section of the road, has yet to be determined. Funds from the city's street paving and storm water management funds will be used because some drainage work will be completed as part of the project.

The work will begin in March or April and last for about three weeks.

As soon as the first week of August, construction crews will resurface a .75-mile stretch of North Avenue from 300 feet south of Howe Road north to 400 feet south of Northmoreland Avenue.

The total cost for the project is $145,089. ODOT is paying for 80 percent, or $109,790, and Tallmadge is paying for $35,299 from the general fund. Because a small portion of the west side of the road is in Munroe Falls, the city will reimburse Tallmadge for $9,606 of the costs.

The work will smooth out the bumpy, estimated 1-mile stretch of the road.

The construction will last for no longer than a week.

Although lanes will be restricted, the road will remain open, and flaggers will direct traffic, Sauner said.

North Avenue replacement

The second project is much more substantial than the North Avenue resurfacing. Estimated at $5.5 million, it consists of several combined projects, including one that seeks to replace the .65-mile section of North Avenue from the Circle north to Garwood Drive and upgrade the corresponding storm drainage system, curbs and sidewalks.

It also calls for improving the intersection at North Avenue and Overdale Drive by replacing the traffic lights and further examining the intersection to determine if additional upgrades are necessary. Widening the sidewalks and adding landscaping on both sides of the street along the length of the project area are intending to make the area more pedestrian-friendly.

The city is responsible for paying for all of the engineering and design costs for the total road replacement portion, which is expected to be about $419,000.

ODOT will pay for 80 percent of the rest of the costs, or about $4.1 million, and the city will pay the balance of $1.4 million from its general fund.

Sauner said this section of North Avenue needs to be replaced because of its condition and the way rainwater flows into the storm drainage system.

He said because the sidewalks are lower than the road and the front yards in the area, rainwater comes off the road and runs down the sidewalks into storm drains near the Circle. Although no yards are flooding, and the water eventually gets to the drains, Sauner said the drainage system needs to be redone so that the water flows into the drains on the street and never reaches the sidewalks.

He said it makes sense to redo the storm drainage system at the same time as replacing the road. The project is in the engineering and design phase, and the construction phase is scheduled to begin and end sometime in 2016.

"This is a needed project. It's one of the last sections around the Circle that we've improved. It should be nice," Sauner said.

Additional road work

After the weather breaks in the spring, city workers will evaluate all the roads throughout the city and create a plan for repairs and repaving.

Nearly $400,000 is included in this year's budget for general road resurfacing, according to Mayor Dave Kline.

Email: hschoenstein@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9428

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