Due to significant utility relocation associated with the upcoming $5.6 million Aurora Road reconstruction, the project has been pushed back from 2021 to 2022, City Engineer John J. Busch said this week.

The city recently had a utility coordination meeting with companies including the Illuminating Co. and Ameritech about relocating their utilities, and based on that meeting, and with the approval of the Ohio Department of Transportation, the city determined that the project must be delayed for a year, he said.

The project, which will include widening the road from two lanes to three, will require a lot of utility relocation, he noted.

In other updates, GPD engineers, which is the consultant on the project and being paid $615,457 for the design fee, is finalizing plans to secure rights of way for the widening project. Once those plans are complete, Mr. Busch said, the city will engage a consultant to address all of the permanent and temporary land needed for the project.

The infringement on residential properties will not be significant, Mr. Busch noted.

“We are not acquiring a lot of permanent rights of way,” he said. “Throughout the main course of the project, we are just acquiring temporary rights of way from residents just to do grading beyond the right of way.”

Those residents will be compensated accordingly, he continued, and the amount will be part of the rights of way acquisition process.

The project, which will construct the road from just east of the Solon Village Shopping Plaza to the Liberty Road intersection, will affect about 80 parcels, all of which are residential. “These properties are not very big,” Mr. Busch said.

He said the amount of land needed will vary from property to property. “Generally, Aurora Road is, for the most part, pretty flat so it will not be that intrusive.”

Mr. Busch said mapping plans for the rights of way will take a good portion of this year to complete.

The second phase of the project will involve the reconstruction of Aurora Road from Liberty Road to the eastern corporation line at Bainbridge Township.

The project is based on three traffic studies performed along the corridor where the number of rear-end collisions have increased over the years, Mr. Busch said. It also is necessary to improve access in and out of residential homes along the road and developments such as Carrington Court and neighborhoods like Ayleshire Drive, located between SOM and Liberty roads.

“The city studied this three times and every time the outcome was to widen the road based on the traffic impacts to five lanes,” he said. City Council rejected that option so as not to infringe on residential properties to that extent. The widening to three lanes is a “compromise,” Mr. Busch said.

To date the city has been awarded $2.1 million in funding, including ODOT dollars and federal safety money.

For the last decade, Sue Reid has covered the government, business climate and residents of Solon. A Times reporter for 22 years, Ms. Reid has earned commendations from the Ohio Newspaper Association and Cleveland Press Association.

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