Since the possibility of Avon Road being re-opened at the Westlake border and closed to Nagel Road first appeared as an item on the Avon City Council agenda this week, residents have been upset at the prospect.
Many cited safety concerns with school buses on the narrow, bumpy road, and access for first responders in an emergency. Some also feel they'll be cut off from the Avon community.
Don Damyanic, the project manager for the in the Nagel Road interchange project, sat down with Avon Patch Wednesday afternoon to go over the proposal and address concerns of the residents.
The idea of temporarily closing Avon Road just east of the intersection with Nagel Road and opening it up at the Westlake line was proposed by , the construction company doing the project, to the Ohio Department of Transportation, Damyanic said.
ODOT did not want to get involved in the issue between two cities, Damyanic said, so it left the matter up to Avon.
Avon sent a proposal to Westlake that included Avon paying for putting a fresh two to three inches of paving on the road all the way to its terminus at Bradley Road, and widening the road two feet to make about 20 feet wide. Westlake agreed, and an ordinance was brought before Avon City Council.
Wording in the ordinance, which council members felt wasn't clear enough, led to a until next week.
Here are some of the highlights of our conversation with Damyanic:
There is no date set for when the closing near Nagel and opening at the city/county line would happen if this proposal is approved by City Council, Damyanic said. The soonest it would happen is the spring of 2012. It would be part of the agreement with Mosser that work would be finished at the end of the construction season and the Nagel Road intersection reopened before winter.
Once the Nagel intersection is reopened, Damyanic said, Avon Road would again be closed at the Westlake border.
Damyanic said safety was the main reason he believed this proposal is a good idea.
In addition to a new bridge for Nagel Road over Interstate 90, on- and off-ramps to make the interchange, and other work, the far west end of Avon Road is being moved south about 100 feet near the Nagel Road intersection.
Not having traffic going through a construction zone is safer for workers, drivers and residents, he said.
"Whenever you have traffic going through a work area, it increases the risk for the workers," Damyanic said.
The construction zone could be dangerous for cars and their drivers, Damyanic said. There will be changes in road elevations as well as uneven pavement, which can damage cars and possibly contribute to accidents.
He added that, with the way traffic would be set up during construction, if there's an accident, it could slow access for first responders.
Speaking of first responders, Damyanic said he and Avon Frank Root checked out the service road access from behind this week and concluded that, with some added gravel, the road will be passable in the spring, summer and fall. There would also be access on Avon Road via Bradley Road with mutual aid from Westlake, Damyanic said, and part of the agreement with Mosser would be to give first responders access via Nagel Road.
Closing Avon Road at the Nagel intersection will allow construction to be done on that intersection without having to create new traffic patterns three different times.
"Every time, it means tearing down one zone, rebuilding it, putting up barriers, cones and signs," he said.
Damyanic said he thinks that closing the Nagel intersection could take three to five months of physical work off the project. Even with paving Avon Road into Westlake, the savings could be at least $120,000 he said.
Also, he said, the longer a project goes, the more it becomes possible that change orders could be made, which could drive up the cost of the project.
Damyanic said that any added time that Avon Road residents use going around by Bradley Road will likely be easier than sitting in a possible traffic jam created by construction vehicles doing work on Nagel and Avon Roads.
Without opening Avon Road, Damyanic said, residents and construction vehicles would have to share access on Nagel Road.
He added that it is likely much of the work would be done in the summer and have minimal effect on school bus routes, he said.
"If we can do (the Avon Road work) quicker, it means their road gets back to normal quicker," Damyanic said.