Streetsboro -- City Council approved the first step in creating a connection of Philipp Parkway and Ethan Drive this summer. Conceptual drawings and plans are currently in place.
At a total cost of $2.8 million, the 3,500 feet of new road will connect Phillip Parkway to Ethan Drive, creating a direct path from Interstate 480 to Route 43. The addition will alleviate commercial traffic on routes 14 and 43, while reducing wear and tear on the roadways. L'Oral employees and others on Philipp Parkway will also have a direct path to Route 43, according to Mayor Glenn Broska.
"Opening up this land will provide better access for some of the industrial land up there on Route 43," he said.
City Council unanimously approved an ordinance authorizing the city administration to prepare bids for the project Jan. 13.
Economic Development Director Bill Bishilany says the city recently conducted a survey of how many commercial vehicles travel on Route 43 in one day. Results show 780 commercial vehicles used the road on the day of the survey.
"The majority of those trucks come off of Route 480 and the turnpike," Bishilany said. "What [the connection is] going to do is alleviate some of the pressure on the square with commercial traffic."
With the connection between Ethan Drive and Philipp Parkway, Route 43 industrial businesses will be able to send their trucks through the industrial park directly to Interstate 480, cutting out 20 minutes driving time through the center of town, said Broska.
City Council member Regis Faivre said he is looking forward to the new roadway because the city will have a truck route from the freeway going up to 43. He says then Frost Road can be kept as a residential road.
The city's cost would be $300,000, which would be paid from the Streetsboro Water Department's reserve fund to install waterlines along the new length of road.
The city has received letters of commitment from two state grants, totaling $650,000. The Ohio Department of Transportation will provide $250,000 while JobsOhio Commerce Fund will provide $400,000. Kimball Companies Inc., the property owner, will provide the project with $1.5 million, said Bishilany.
At a cost of $350,000, the sanitary sewers would be installed and paid for by the Portage County Water Resources Department, said Broska.
Bishilany said making the connection between the two industrial roads will open up about 529,500 square feet of industrial space on 90 acres.
Based on the square footage typically used by employee in a manufacturing environment, the possible businesses could create between 800 and 900 jobs, he added.
Broska said he believes the extension will help spur industrial growth in the city.
"The speculation is out there for the types of buildings and the size of buildings we're looking into," Mayor Glenn Broska said. "We're really confident this area won't sit empty for a long length of time."
Council member Jeff Allen raised concerns about the property owner not signing an official agreement to provide the $1.5 million. However, Bishilany assured him Kimball would not see an opportunity like this again and neither would the city.
"The idea is good," Allen said. "It would be foolish for him to back out but foolish for us not to ask" about what happens if he does.
Broska and Bishilany hope to start road construction early this summer and have traffic on the addition by early December of 2014.
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