Pedestrians find Center Ridge Road hazardous because of heavy traffic congestion and hard-to-see crosswalks. Officials from Rocky River and Fairview Park hope to change that.

This week Rocky River and Fairview Park launched the first phase of an $876,175 joint project aimed at improving pedestrian safety and traffic flow in the area. Work on the Complete Streets Program began this week and is expected to wrap by the end of October, said Rocky River Safety Service Director Rich Snyder.

“The goal for this portion of the project is to increase pedestrian safety as they cross the busy road,” he said.

Work is being done by Miller Cable Co. of Green Springs, Ohio, and spans from the Westgate Transit Center to Linden Road. This includes replacing crosswalks to make them more visible to drivers. Crews will also replace curb ramps to make them ADA accessible along the half-mile stretch.

The areas affected include the entrance of Westgate Plaza, Glenbar Drive and Wagar, Northview and Linden roads, said engineer Dennis Albrecht of LJB Inc., the company hired to design the project.

During construction, one-way lanes will be maintained in both directions and access to businesses along the road will be unaffected. To further eliminate traffic congestion, construction crews plan to work at night also, Snyder said.

The bulk of the project will be paid for by grants that both cities received totaling $457,000. Fairview Park received a $159,000 Transportation for Livable Community Initiative grant and Rocky River received a $298,000 Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant. The remaining $419,175 will come from Rocky River’s General Fund, Snyder said.

“The plan is to finish as much as we can now, so when we do get to the second half of this project, it can be a seamless transition,” he said. The second phase of the project will begin next spring and include replacing every traffic light and crosswalk signal along the stretch of road. The project delay is a result of materials not arriving on time due to the pandemic, he added.

The Complete Streets program began as a combined effort by Rocky River and Fairview Park through the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency to enhance the safety of Center Ridge Road. In 2017, the cities worked with City Architecture of Cleveland on a study of the corridor. Rocky River and Fairview Park entered into an agreement last summer regarding how the project would be paid for.

This is the first in a long list of projects slated for the busy road that sees 10,600 drivers daily. Other projects planned include implementing a bike trail as well as resurfacing the entire road. However, those projects have not been set in motion, Snyder said.

“Center Ridge is a major road for both Rocky River and Fairview Park and making these changes is the first step in improving pedestrian safety and mitigating traffic congestion in the area,” he said.

Contact this reporter at akamczyc@westlifenews.com or 216-307-6614.

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