The Geauga County Commissioners approved a grant agreement from the Ohio Public Works Commission’s Local Transportation Improvement Program and awarded a bid to Ronyak Paving Tuesday for the Caves Road resurfacing project in Chester and Russell townships.

The county will receive $300,000 from the OPWC, which Deputy Engineer Shane Hajjar said will cover about 40 percent of the total cost of the project. The project was originally estimated to cost about $850,000, but the county awarded the project to Ronyak Paving of Burton Township at the amount of $777,845.

Mr. Hajjar explained that by receiving a grant that covers less than 50 percent of the total cost of the project, the county is likely to receive a higher grant score from OPWC and thus more likely to receive further funding in the future for other projects.

“We target a number that is within a certain percentage at or below 50 percent [of a project’s total cost]. It helps get more projects funded and still brings substantial money into the county,” he said. “The 50 percent or less gets a better scoring criteria. The less money that you receive in grant funding has a positive effect on your score. The more grant money you pursue, the lower the score is. It’s a balance between what projects will get funded, and this seemed like a reasonable amount of money [for the project].”

The county engineer’s office selected Ronyak Paving from a pool of two bidders, Mr. Hajjar said. They had also received a bid for the project from Chagrin Valley Paving at about $881,000.

The Caves Road project includes the milling and resurfacing of 4.2 miles of road from Kinsman Road (Route 87) to Mayfield Road (Route 322), according to the engineer’s office. Construction for the resurfacing project is expected to begin Aug. 15 and is estimated to take about 30 days to complete. Traffic will be maintained, according to project specifications.

Sam Cottrill started reporting for the Times in February 2019 and covers Auburn, Bainbridge, Bentleyville and Chagrin, Kenston, Solon and West Geauga schools. She graduated from Kent State University in 2018 with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

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