I-480 sound barriers due in July
Published Oct. 11, 2006
have been presented with the good news–bad news scenario by their
state counterparts about the aging sound barrier walls on I-480.
In the good
news, instead of repairing the current run down walls, the state
will instead replace them.
bad news is the state won’t be able to begin replacing them until
July 2007, instead of beginning the repairs this month as they were
originally scheduled to do.
sent out letters recently saying they would not be able to do the
repairs and instead would have to build new walls. The initial letters
said the state would not be able to replace the barriers for three
years. However, after hearing this, city officials said that was
unacceptable and contacted Ohio Department of Transportation officials
about the situation.
Dailey Jones, the chairwoman of council’s streets and transportation
committee who had lobbied earlier for the repairs, and Mayor Thomas
O’Grady made contact and fired off letters.
Jones, who worked
with the entire council to get off a joint letter, said there wasn’t
any choice for the city officials.
“While we’re happy to be getting brand new walls,
we just couldn’t wait years to get those new walls up,” Jones said.
“People have already been waiting to get repairs done on those walls.
A two or three year wait just wouldn’t be right.”
finances are at the root of the problem.
“When the state
got the bids for the repair work back home, they were much higher
than they had budgeted for the repairs,” O’Grady said. “So they
decided to go another route.”
In an Oct. 2
letter to the city, ODOT Deputy Director David J. Coyle outlined
the financial problem encountered by the state.
“The bids taken
for a repair project were about $1.2 million above what the department
estimated the job would cost. In fact, the total $2.5 million bid
would cover the cost of new noise barriers. As a result, we have
decided to totally replace the noise barriers rather than repair,”
Coyle said in the letter.
they had to program and prepare plans for replacement barriers instead
of repair work, Coyle said
they will begin the work in July 2007, which is the first quarter
of the 2008 fiscal year, the first time when the $2.5 million will
the old barriers in the next few weeks and then put up temporary
barriers until they get the new ones going next year,” O’Grady said.
Jones said the
noise and safety concerns were paramount to the city.
passed with all the problems with those walls,” Jones said. “They
just aren’t safe because of their instability. It’s also an economic
issue for some people with their homes, because they may not be
able to sell them because of the noise. It’s asking a lot to make
people wait another year when the repairs had already been scheduled.
But we’re getting new sound barriers which will be a better situation
in the long run.”
he doesn’t want to stop with just the new barriers replacing existing
“I’m also requesting
that the state look into trying to put up additional noise barriers
within the city,” O’Grady said. “They said no funds are available
for that right now, but I’m going to stay after that and try and
get additional barriers sometime.”
Jones said ultimately
it will make the city better.
“It’s a great
example of how good government can work,” she said. “A problem developed
and all of council and the administration worked together to get
something done by contacting the state and letting them know waiting
three years would be unacceptable,” she said.