Broad­way project moves along

Streetscape gets OK for money, con­struc­tion

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - FRONT PAGE - By Richard Pay­erchin rpay­erchin@morn­ingjour­nal.com @MJ_Jour­nalRick on Twit­ter

Lo­rain is get­ting a lit­tle bit closer to giv­ing Broad­way a new look down­town.

Although shov­els are not turning yet, the city has re­ceived two key doc­u­ments that mark two more steps for­ward in the plan for new side­walks, signs, lights and traf­fic flow, said Mayor Chase Rite­nauer and City En­gi­neer Dale Van­der­som­men.

The work could start this year, but much of it will take place in 2019 and will co­in­cide nicely with ren­o­va­tions at the Broad­way Build­ing, 301 Broad­way, Rite­nauer said.

There, Ariel on Broad­way, the com­pany of Cleve­land busi­ness­woman Rad­hika Reddy, plans to cre­ate a new ho­tel and event space.

“Next year is go­ing to be a turning point for Broad­way, I re­ally be­lieve that,” Rite­nauer said.

On Aug. 9, Van­der­som­men re­ceived au­tho­riza­tion in an emailed doc­u­ment, ti­tled a Fed­eral-Aid Project Agree­ment.

It came from the Ohio De­part­ment of Trans­porta­tion, Van­der­som­men said.

Among the le­gal lan­guage, the form states Aug. 8 is the

“ef­fec­tive date of au­tho­riza­tion” for con­struc­tion of the $4.16 mil­lion project.

Van­der­som­men said he wants to con­sult with the de­sign en­gi­neer.

But with the ap­proval in place, a ten­ta­tive sched­ule is for the project to go out to bid with ad­ver­tise­ments start­ing Aug. 23.

A ten­ta­tive bid open­ing could come Sept. 14, Van­der­som­men said.

Con­sid­er­ing the tim­ing, it is un­likely much vis­i­ble con­struc­tion will hap­pen this year, he said.

How­ever, the win­ning con­trac­tor will have time to or­der the lights and ar­chi­tec­tural sig­nage, which likely will take 90 days to or­der, build and de­liver, Van­der­som­men said.

If the bid­ding goes smoothly, there could be some un­der­ground work this year to fill in about a dozen vaults of build­ings, he said.

Most of the vaults will be filled in, with ex­cep­tions for the Gar­dens of Charleston con­do­mini­ums, 610 Broad­way, which has an un­der­ground park­ing garage.

The city also will work with Ariel on Broad­way to en­sure the vault is sound

un­der the Broad­way Build­ing, Van­der­som­men said.

As for fi­nanc­ing, on July 31, Rite­nauer re­ceived a con­fir­ma­tion let­ter from the North­east Ohio Areaw­ide Co­or­di­nat­ing Agency that the agency will con­trib­ute $1.5 mil­lion in the state fis­cal year 2019.

That is two years sooner than ex­pected orig­i­nally.

The let­ter came from NOACA Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor Grace Gal­lucci.

“NOACA is pleased to ad­vance the $1,500,000 of its fund­ing to en­able the com­mu­nity and the re­gion to re­al­ize the ben­e­fits of the project sooner,” Gal­lucci wrote. “Please con­tinue to work with NOACA staff to­ward the suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion of this project.”

Rite­nauer thanked the plan­ning or­ga­ni­za­tion for the fi­nan­cial help.

“With­out that mil­lion­five, the streetscape is a pipe dream; it does not hap­pen with­out that mil­lion­five,” he said.

The first plans for the streetscape came out in 2015, Rite­nauer said.

It took time to de­velop a plan to pay for the im­prove­ments, but with­out fi­nanc­ing in place, the draw­ings would have been a fan­tasy, he said.

“It’s go­ing to be a real­ity; it’s go­ing to hap­pen,” the mayor said.

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