to open Dec. 18
By Jeff Gallatin
Published Dec. 10, 2008
officials are ready to finish cutting all the tape on the long-awaited
Crocker-Stearns Road Extension project and open up the roadway.
A ceremony has been set for 10:30 a.m. Dec. 18 at
the border line where North Olmsted and Westlake meet on the roadway
on the more than $13 million project which will connect via the
North Olmsted and Westlake connector for I-90 and I-480. Construction
work began on the project in March 2007 last year after decades
of discussion, planning and work. The North Olmsted portion will
be completed with the finishing touches on the Westlake portion
scheduled to be done next spring, with the roadway still being open.
It includes the expansion of Crocker-Stearns Road from Center Ridge
Road in Westlake to Lorain Road in north Olmsted as well as the
widening of Stearns Road from Lorain to I-480.
Officials from North Olmsted, Westlake, Cuyahoga County
and Fabrizi Trucking and Paving, the general contractor on the project,
“It’s been some project to work on,” said Mayor Thomas
O’Grady. “I can remember hearing about it as a resident shortly
after we moved to North Olmsted and then working on the project
as a councilman-at-large and council president. We’ve been able
to work closely with the county, state and federal officials as
well to keep it going smoothly during this time period. I certainly
thank them for everything they’ve done to get this project on track
and staying moving forward.”
O’Grady said the ribbon-cutting will be the culmination
of much work.
“We won’t have people cutting through other areas
when they can use this roadway now,” he said. “It should bring a
lot of positives to not only the city, but the entire region.”
Councilman-at-large Michael Gareau Jr., who is also
chairman of city council’s finance committee, said although the
road construction is done, work pertaining to the Crocker-Stearns
“Now we have to make sure we develop it properly,”
he said. “We want to make sure we get the best possible development
of the area to aid the city and area.”
Nicole Dailey Jones, the chairwoman of council’s Streets
and Transportation Committee, said the completion will provide current
and future benefits.
“People will be glad to see the end of the construction,”
said Jones, who represents the ward where the road is located. “It’s
been tough for people who live in the area to go around and through
all the work and it’s been a little rough for drivers.
“But we also should see continued development of the
area,” she said. “Some businesses are locating in the area to be
near the extension area. Others will see it as a good way to get
from one business area to another in a smooth manner.”
North Olmsted Service Director Duane Limpert said
it will serve as a good entrance to the city.
“We’re glad to get the orange barrels down,” he said.
“It should give people a good feeling about us and more willing
to consider doing things in the city.”
Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough told West Life he believed
the reason why the project took 30 years to complete was that the
county government did not make it a priority. That changed, Clough
said, when current County Engineer Robert Klaiber took office in
1999. Klaiber recognized the importance of the project to the region
and sought out funding, Clough said.
Clough said he believed the new roadway’s impact on
the Westshore will be huge.
“It’s the only four-lane connecting route between
I-480 and I-90 on the West Side,” Clough said. The closest direct
connecting route is West 117th Street in Cleveland, he said.
Crocker-Stearns will improve traffic flow in the area
and draw traffic away from some residential streets, the Westlake
“Besides that, it’ll be a lot easier to give directions,”
(West Life reporter Kevin Kelley contributed to