Norwalk plans $1.6 million worth of construction this year

Cary Ashby • Jan 6, 2019 at 12:00 PM

Norwalk city council has approved almost $1.6 million in infrastructure improvement slated for this year.

During their first meeting of 2019, council members passed eight ordinances and resolutions to advertise and receive bids for various construction projects. A contract after the bidding process also was approved with each piece of legislation Thursday.

When asked about the estimated start dates, Norwalk Public Works Director Josh Snyder said “a lot of it depends on what contractors win the bids and when they’re available.”

First up was Phase III of the Old State Road widening project, which will run from Cleveland to Akron roads, and is expected to cost $500,000. Crews will widen the pavement plus install curbing and drainage systems. 

“I’d like to say (that will start) as soon as the weather breaks in the spring,” said Snyder, who called it a slightly larger project than Phase II. “It’s a larger section involving more drainage.”

The second phase went from Executive Drive to the clubhouse driveway for Veterans Memorial Lake Park. The 2017 project first was slated to cost $405,000, but in July council approved an additional $254,000 due to unexpected extensive damage that was discovered in the middle of the work.

Council also approved bids for the 2019 sidewalk improvement project expected to cost $80,000. It will cover the northeast quadrant of Norwalk, from north of Main Street to east of U.S. 250.

“It’s the same quadrant as last year when we didn’t have enough funding to do it all,” Snyder said.

The 2019 resurfacing project will cover 16 streets. It typically costs about $300,000 annually.

“It’s a banner year for resurfacing. We brought out $550,000 in resurfacing — the most in 10 years,” said Snyder, crediting the city with receiving a full year of additional funds from the recent license plate tax. “Now we are bearing the fruits of the license plate taxes.”

The city engineer said he hopes to take advantage of the good price on asphalt since the cost of gasoline is cheaper also.

“When one is low, the other is low. What it means is we can get more for less,” Snyder added.

The resurfacing project also will include maintenance driveways at various water towers and the sewer lift station plus a portion of the parking lot at the Ernsthausen Community Center.

Crews will replace the water lines on Carey Place and a small portion of North Pleasant Street — between Carey Place and Jefferson Street — for $200,000.

The curb project will be on Norwood Avenue from Christie Avenue, heading south to Shady Lane Drive. Workers will remove and replace old curbing and install new ones.

“The bulk of that (area) has no curb at all,” Snyder said, referring to the $100,000 job.

Also approved was the 2019 sewer lining project. Snyder said the $64,000 work will include a 10-inch line on Minard Place, an 8-inch one on High Street and a 6-inch line on Linwood Avenue.

This year the city will work with the Huron County Engineer’s Office on a paving project. It will cost Norwalk $105,000 to pave Cleveland Road from Old State Road to the U.S. 20 bypass.

“The county is paying for the rest,” Snyder said. “ODOT is doing from the bypass east outside of the city.”

Finally, council approved applying for an Ohio Department of Transportation grant for Phase II to upgrade and create a multi-use path running north and south on the former Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway rail bed. It would go from East Main Street to the city recreation center.

“This is a 95-5 split. We are participating at 5 percent; it’s a great, great deal,” said Snyder, adding that such grant breakdowns are hard to beat.

If ODOT awards Norwalk the grant, the earliest construction would start is in 2022 due to the grant cycle. The state already awarded the city a $610,000 grant for Phase I, which has an estimated start date of 2021.

In other action Tuesday, council tabled an ordinance to amend the city zoning map and referred the matter to the planning commission. The owner of 57 Cline St. wants her property to be rezoned from R-3 instead of B-4 so she can build an apartment complex.

“It’s a farm field right now,” Norwalk Zoning Officer Mitch Loughton said, referring to the area behind a vacant house. “It’s a lot of land; it’s about 30 acres.”

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