Streetsboro -- Mayor Glenn Broska said the Route 303 culvert project that will be funded mainly by the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study will make Streetsboro a lot safer.
"The city has been held hostage for years by flooding on Route 303," Broska said. "This project should stop the flooding in that area. "The general idea is to bring the level of the road up to the railroad tracks. We're going to raise the road over the bowl. It's a two-part process -- raising it from Jefferson Street to the railroad tracks, and across the bowl near the bypass."
The city will receive about $2.068 million to raise Route 303 west, AMATS officials announced. In addition, the city will be awarded $500,000 from the Ohio Department of Transportation for the project, according to ODOT.
The total cost of the project is $3.5 million, Broska said, and the city's portion will be about $931,000.
The project is expected to begin in mid-summer 2016, but Bruce Terrell, the city's engineering director, said the start date is dependent on the length of time it takes for the project to receive environmental clearance.
"This project is definitely exciting," said Council member Julie Field, a leading proponent of the project. "I'm happy for Ward 4 residents and the other residents in the city who have to deal with the flooding issue. It is beyond an inconvenience. It's a well-traveled road, so [the flooding problem] is a safety concern. We've all worked hard to make this project a priority, and I certainly have pleaded our case. The mayor and I have discussed this. It's a big deal, and it's good for Streetsboro. It's a reflection that we're headed in a positive direction."
Broska said the city will budget the money that will be owed.
Field agreed, saying, "We'll make sure we have the ability to get the funds in a timely manner."
ODOT will be in charge of the project. ODOT Engineer Thomas Powell said the road has to be raised to solve the problem.
"Route 303 floods fairly frequently, several times a year," Powell said. "Generally, it's a poorly drained area with little slope."
Broska said the area around the Route 303 culvert will be closed during the time, about a year, once the project is under way.
Terrell agreed, saying, "When the project gets under way, Route 303 will be closed to traffic."
Broska said the project will cause "a nightmare for commercial vehicles."
"Residents know how to get around that area," Broska said. "But according to ODOT rules, commercial traffic cannot be diverted onto secondary roads, so routes 82 and 59 will be used. Commercial vehicles need to plan for that."
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