Council approves change order for Wallings Road bridge project

by Dan Holland

Jan. 8 work session & city council meeting

Members of Broadview Heights City Council at their Jan. 8 meeting approved a resolution to amend an agreement with Osborn Engineering for the Wallings Road bridge project over I-77 at a cost of $95,965 for the change order.

The project, to be completed in conjunction with the Ohio Department of Transportation, was first announced in an ODOT press release in December 2020 with the goal of alleviating traffic congestion during peak hours at the busy interchange. The project will be funded through a combination of federal, state and local funds.

Project plans call for a rebuilding and widening of the bridge deck, which will include a dedicated left-turn lane along the length of the bridge to expedite northbound and southbound traffic entering the highway. Original plans called for construction work, to be done in a series of phases with traffic maintained or detoured, to begin in November 2023.

Last July, former City Engineer Gary Yelenosky said the project had been delayed due to funding concerns by the city, as contractor bids came back as much as 22% higher than the $6.9 million engineering estimate for the work. The resolution passed by city council on Jan. 8 will allow for a re-bid to take place.

According to City Engineering Director Eugene Esser, plans are expected to be completed by April 2024. Once tracings [road project plans] are submitted to ODOT and reviewed, then it is anticipated that advertising for new bids will go out in July.

Work on the project is expected to begin in August, with a closure of the bridge and detours in place by September. Project completion is expected to take place in late-2025.

Changes to the project during Phase 1A will include a full closure of the bridge to West Mill Road, with a closure of the southbound entrance to I-77 and the northbound exit to Wallings Road. A marked detour for I-77 southbound traffic will utilize the Pleasant Valley Road/I-77 interchange along with Broadview Road. A local detour for residents consisting of West Mill Road, Lacey Lane and East Mill Road will allow access to the I-77 northbound entrance at Wallings Road.

Phase 1B will consist of completion of road surface pavement and curbs across the bridge to West Mill Road, with two-way, one lane traffic with flaggers in place on Wallings Road. A previous plan to reduce the vertical rise on Wallings Road at Skyline Drive will not be included in the work.

“We are confident that by phasing the project and closing the bridge, the work will come in at budget and be completed in a timely manner,” said Esser via email. “The mayor wanted to ensure the residents that we will do everything possible to minimize the inconvenience to motorists.”

In other business, council approved:

An agreement with W.W. Williams for plow truck repairs at a total cost of $14,822.

Two separate agreements with the Fraternal Order of Police, Parma Lodge #15, relative to terms and conditions of employment of Broadview Heights patrolmen, sergeants and lieutenants for the period of Jan. 1, 2024, through December 31, 2026.

An agreement with the Association of Broadview Heights service and recreation employees relative to the terms and conditions of employment for the period of Jan. 1, 2024, through Dec. 31, 2026. ∞