Twinsburg Township Trustee hopeful of road projects resuming this year

by Conner Howard | reporter Published:

TWINSBURG TOWNSHIP -- Trustees are considering spending up to $4.2 million in 2013 to move forward with road improvement projects in the Twinsburg Township Heights allotment, as well as drainage projects near Marwell Boulevard.

Updates for the Twinsburg Township Heights road improvements, an overall $14 million project that has been in progress for more than 10 years, were discussed at the Jan. 2 Trustee meeting.

"We're ... updating the Board where different aspects of those projects stand and we're looking more to [Jan.] 16, the next meeting, to see ... what decisions can be made moving forward," township manager Rob Kagler said.

Streets in the Heights allotment, which Kagler said are about 80 years old, require installation of curb and gutter sewers and sidewalks to relieve flooding caused by the allotment's deep ditches.

Roads that may see construction in 2013 include Cambridge, Yale, Harvard and Oxford streets. Kagler said the streets will remain open to local traffic during the improvements.

Eton, Rugby, Buchtel, Case, Harvard and Yale streets have undergone partial repairs, though no streets in the Heights allotment have completed the improvement process.

Township Trustee Tom Schmidt said he hopes to see at least two additional phases of the reconstruction completed in 2013, ideally with loans or grant funding to keep construction on schedule.

"As far as 2013 is concerned, I think the most important thing we have to do is get the next two phases constructed this calendar year," Schmidt said. "We're still beating the brush looking for new funding sources because we definitely want to do more than one phase per year, but with the current funding mechanisms available to us, it's difficult financially to do more than one phase per year."

Township Trustees Jim Balogh and Jamey DeFabio did not return calls seeking comment.

Kagler said the extensive road reconstruction project currently sits at 20 phases, with six phases complete and the next four in the design phase, including the phases that could be completed this year. The first six phases cost around $3 million, out of which the township was able to secure $1.3 million in grant money.

Phases seven through 10 -- this year's phases -- are estimated to cost $3.6 million. Kagler said $1.5 million in grants are in place for these phases. Phases 11 through 20 are expected to cost $5.6 million.

"In my mind, I believe that the ... road reconstruction work is the most important capital improvement project we have for 2013," Schmidt said. "My plan is that we construct two phases in 2013 and then we try out best to follow up with constructing two more phases in 2014. Then, I think we can feel good that we're making solid progress again."

Kagler said the amount of the construction done on phases seven through 10 in 2013 depends on funding sources, which are still being determined. Kagler has said that the extensive, expensive project has been slowed in the past by the cost of oil, used in asphalt, and the township's ability to obtain outside funding for the work. The township has already applied for a $2.5 million loan for the 2013 work, and the loan's denial or approval could affect construction in 2013.

"It would reduce the board's flexibility in deciding which, if any, phases to move forward with this year," Kagler said of the loan's possible denial. "It would affect short term cash flow."

The State Infrastructure Bank, from where the township is seeking the loan, is a government service that fronts money for transportation development around Ohio. Twinsburg Township applied for the $2.5 million loan from the SIB in late October 2012. The actual loan amount, if any is awarded, will be decided after the review process. Kagler expects to report on the status of the loan application during the next Trustees meeting.

Marwell Boulevard drainage project

moving foward?

The Marwell Boulevard project involves three road improvement phases and three drainage pond projects for flood mitigation purposes. The road improvement phases are expected to cost $1.8 million, while the water retention and drainage projects are expected to cost $600,000.

Two of the storm drainage ponds, one near the corner of Marwell Boulevard and Darrow Road and another near Twinsburg Road, will enter construction early this year and should be complete by June. Kagler said the third pond will not be complete until late 2013 at the earliest. As for the road improvements to Marwell, which will get a similar makeover as the Heights roads, only the design phase will be complete in 2013.

Speedway, which plans to build a gas station nearby, will contribute $20,000 to the $180,000 cost of a drainage pond planned for the corner of Twinsburg and Darrow Roads.

"The township was able to up-size its pond design to accommodate Speedway's design, and Speedway contributed $20,000 to the cost of constructing that pond," Kagler said.

Trustees will address both the Twinsburg Township Height Road and Marwell drainage projects at the Jan. 16 meeting.

"As the dollars available become more clear in the next couple weeks, the Board will be in more of a position to make some decisions on what to move forward with and with what money," Kagler said.

Email: choward@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9423

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