CHAGRIN FALLS — It has been a rocky road for the Main Street Bridge renovation project, but this week plans moved ahead with the announcement of a community survey to choose among four stone veneer options for the vertical walls of the historical 1858 span.

Samples of the stone veneers and explanation of the choices are on display through Dec. 1 at the outside entrance to the Police Department, 21 W. Washington St.

Feedback is available by visiting chagrin-falls.org/n-main-streetbridge/. Whether there will be a follow-up town hall style public meeting has not been determined.

Village Administrator Rob Jamieson said the bridge project is now in the redesign phase and responses from the stone veneer survey will be submitted to Cuyahoga County engineers and included for design purposes.

There are four stone veneer color and style choices: uniformly tan, tan with veins of contrasting color, uniformly grey or a blend of all three stone types which, as the design materials notes, is “most reflective of the existing color and pattern on the bridge.” Other considerations are whether the stones should be flat or beveled.

According to the county’s description, all of the veneers are actual sandstone but the samples on display are not the size of those which will be used and depend on availability at the time of construction. It is stressed that what is finally used is “expected” to be similar in appearance.

Height of the stone which will be used on the bridge walls could vary, up to 10.5 inches tall and the sizes of the stones will be similar to the current, original stone facing.

With the switch to stone veneer facing, this newest Main Street bridge plan is now described as bridge “preservation” versus its former designation as a “rehabilitation” project and will add $350,000 to the project, according to Mr. Jamieson. Total project cost is $3.6 million.

It will take more time to complete the work as well, he explained.

“The addition of stone veneer will add time to complete the project over the time it would take to install basic concrete because with the application of stone veneer, concrete is installed first and then the stone.”

He did not immediately know how long, but noted that the upside of veneer over concrete facing is veneer could last longer.

 Working with the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio Environmental Services, the Cuyahoga County Department of Public Works action plan calls for a final design during the summer or early fall of 2022 and the project advertised for bids later that fall.

Construction will begin in the spring of 2023 after the annual Blossom Time Festival and completed in the fall of 2024.

That means work will be underway for two summer seasons, an active time in downtown Chagrin Falls.

It is important to note the Main Street Bridge provides a crucial link – across the Chagrin River and above the High Falls – between the north and south sides of the downtown business district, officials noted.

Plans called for maintaining two-way traffic throughout the course of the work, an important consideration since Main Street is a major thoroughfare and extension of the major Chagrin Boulevard and West Orange Street entrance to the village.

During early planning sessions, Mayor William Tomko and the village administration stressed to state and county authorities during earlier planning sessions the importance of keeping Main Street open. To do otherwise could impact the local economy, officials said.

Parking will suffer during construction when access to parking spaces on and adjacent to the bridge will be unavailable.

Mr. Jamieson said bridge construction would not significantly impact traffic.

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