HUNTING VALLEY — After a delay last fall, the reconstruction of County Line Road is scheduled to restart on April 1, Village Engineer Joe Ciuni said.

Service Director Don Cunningham originally expected that the project would be complete mid-December of 2019, but that was before FirstEnergy decided to replace poles throughout the construction area. Mr. Ciuni explained that the widening and realignment of the road required 25-30 utility poles to be relocated. But representatives at FirstEnergy decided to relocate all 170 poles because many were old and leaning.

He said that moving the utility poles delayed the project. Although FirstEnergy tried to stay ahead of the road crews, Mr. Ciuni said that “there were some things we could not do.” He said that asphalt plants closed after Thanksgiving so the project was cut off until the spring.

From the Gates Mills municipal boundary to Whisperwood Drive, the County Line reconstruction project is shared between Hunting Valley and Russell Township. From Whisperwood to South Woodland Road (Route 87), County Line is only in Hunting Valley. The contract is with Trax Construction and was bid by the Geauga County Engineer’s Office.

According to Mr. Ciuni, the cost of County Line was reduced to $3.786 million when it was originally closer to $4 million.

Geauga County Deputy Engineer Nick Gorris said that there are $317,000 worth of credits on the project, but also $92,000 in additional costs from change orders. Mr. Ciuni said that this leaves a project cost savings of $225,000 overall.

An example of a credit on the project was insulating a waterline. Mr. Ciuni said that waterlines have to be buried deep enough in the ground so they will not freeze in the winter months. Part of the project cost was to lower 1,200 feet of a waterline along County Line Road. The Cleveland Division of Water, however, allowed the contractor to insulate the pipe rather than lower it, he explained. Mr. Gorris was not sure yet of the price tag, but said that it will reduce the project cost because it reduces the amount of labor.

The other large credit to the County Line project is the retaining wall. To widen the road, it is necessary to cut into a hillside. A retaining wall is used to keep the hillside in place. For this project, Mr. Ciuni said that the retaining wall is made of

timbers.

Mr. Ciuni said that the retaining wall was “non-performed,” meaning that it was removed from Trax’s contract and Hunting Valley hired Great Lakes Construction to do that instead. Mr. Gorris did not have a definite cost for this because it is still under construction.

“[Great Lakes Construction does] that kind of stuff all the time,” Mr. Ciuni said. “And it’s in the 100 percent Hunting Valley section [of the road] so we had the liberty to do that.”

Mr. Ciuni is expecting that County Line will be complete in August or September.

The project to resurface Cedar Road cost the village $673,593, according to financial records. The village paid $135,022 on the portion of Cedar that is shared with Gates Mills Village between SOM Center Road and Woodstock Road. The records show that Hunting Valley paid $538,571 on Cedar Road from Woodstock to Chagrin River Road, a portion of the road that is only in Hunting Valley. Cedar has been open to traffic since June.

Julie Hullett has been a reporter for the Chagrin Valley Times since August of 2018 and covers Gates Mills, Hunting Valley, Moreland Hills, Orange, Pepper Pike and Woodmere. She graduated from John Carroll University with a journalism degree in 2018.

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