Posted January 08, 2017 in Articles
Author: Thomas Jewell, cleveland.com
CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio -- City Council has awarded a $3.99 million contract for the resurfacing of Cedar Road, one quarter of that amount going toward a streetscape project just past the "Top of the Hill."
And the hill itself will get some love also, with a new multi-purpose path set to go in on the south, outbound or "uphill" side of Cedar Glen Parkway, providing an alternate connector to University Circle.
That will be the first phase of the total project, getting under way as early as March and connecting the unused public right-of-way to the Cedar-Fairmount district, where the $1 million streetscape work will be done.
City Planning Director Richard Wong noted that some of the beauty of the project lies in the fact that, aside from $330,000 in streetscape engineering fees that may still be refunded, there is no expense to Cleveland Heights.
And Mayor Cheryl Stephens wants make sure the city keeps it that way, saying that "we need to bird-dog this project" to prevent any cost overruns.
Stephens recalled some "issues" with the lowest responsive bidder on the Cedar Road project, Perk Company Inc., back when they did an earlier streetscape project in Coventry.
On that one, change orders hiked the cost over the original bid, Stephens pointed out.
"I don't think we're going to have any issues," City Public Works Director Alex Mannarino said, noting that the Coventry project dated back at least to the early 2000's.
Perk was the lowest responsive of nine bids submitted for the Cedar Road project, which had state and federal funding in place but was postponed from last year, due in part to all of the work that was going on for the Republican National Convention.
Cleveland Heights Councilman Michael Ungar said that any prospect for change orders can "turn a low bid into a not-so-low bid."
Mannarino cited Perk's work as the contractor on the $3.6 million Taylor Road resurfacing project in 2012, saying that they have met budget in his more recent experience with them.
"I think we'll be within budget and under budget," Mannarino said, noting on Jan. 3 that a pre-construction meeting still had to be scheduled for Cedar.
That meeting would include the merchant representatives from the Special Improvement Districts, as well as subcontractors, "to make sure we have everybody on the same page."
More recently, Perk also did the $3.6 million resurfacing of Belvoir Boulevard as well as the $2.8 million Larchmere streetscape projects, both in 2014.
Stephens pointed out that the streetscape plan for Cedar-Fairmount is "almost as intricate as Coventry."
After Stephens mentioned "holding the contractors' feet to the fire," City Manager Tanisha Briley said that Mannarino has already worn out a pair of inserts in his boots walking the $3.5 million Lee Road streetscape project on a daily basis to survey the work there.
As of Jan. 3, Lee Road was 87 percent complete, with electrical cabinets for new traffic lights still about a week out.
Responding to a question from Councilwoman Melissa Yasinow about the current state of sections of sidewalk on Cedar-Lee, Mannarino noted that Dominion gas and AT&T still have some additional work to do.
"And there will be no new trees, benches, or bike racks along Lee until the spring," Mannarino added.
Meanwhile, Noble Road will also be resurfaced this year, although city officials pointed out that contract will be handled through Cuyahoga County.