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OUR VIEW: Streetsboro finds success with public-private partnerships

Published: June 11, 2014 12:00 AM

The Philipp Parkway Extension project in Streetsboro has received another boost with the Ohio Department of Transportation's announcement that it is providing more than half a million dollars in grant funds for the much-needed project.

The 3,500-foot extension of Philipp Parkway will connect the industrial land on that road to the end of Ethan Drive, which intersects Route 43 near the Aurora border.

The undertaking will alleviate a good portion of the traffic congestion at the intersection of routes 14 and 43 for trucks that must pass through there to access the Ohio Turnpike or Interstate 480. They would be able to drive along the new industrial road to Philipp Parkway's intersection with Frost Road, which is next to the I-480 ramps.

In addition, the project will open new industrial land that was previously inaccessible. Economic Development Director Sue Truby said about 100 acres of vacant industrial sites ranging in size from 5 to 15 acres will become available.

The best part is that all of the money for the project is in place, with the city only contributing about $300,00 for water line installation. That price tag seems a bargain in exchange for the benefits the city will see in new jobs, added tax revenue and alleviation from some of its notorious traffic congestion.

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A recent traffic study showed that nearly 700 vehicles a day get off the Turnpike to Route14 and then turn left onto Route 43. If most of those trucks take the new route, it will save up to two miles a trip, keeping them out of the town square and off the city's main streets.

The rest of the $3.4 million project is being funded through a variety of sources. Steele Hill Properties II LLC has signed a memo of understanding with the city to contribute $1.5 million. Jobs Ohio is providing a $400,000 Roadway Grant; ODOT is providing a Jobs and Commerce Grant worth $250,000; and $350,000 will come through the Portage County Water Resources Department.

ODOT also said it will provide $584,000 for upgrades to Ethan Drive at Route 43, including new lanes, signals, curbs and gutters, as part of its Turnpike Mitigation program designed to provide money to communities for transportation-related improvements within a mile of the Turnpike.

The next stage of the project is the bidding process, and the city hopes to break ground in the fall.

This project is a prime example of how public-private partnerships can work. Mayor Glenn Broska and his administration should be congratulated for their efforts in pursuing the grants and cooperation among government entities and private businesses that will make this project a success.

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