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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

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Oregon City Council on Monday approved the construction bid for the Navarre Avenue Safety Improvement Project.

Geddis Paving & Excavating, of Toledo, submitted the lowest and best bid of $3,642,399.76 to furnish labor, materials and equipment for the project.

The city received federal grant funding through the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for implementing various safety improvements along Navarre Avenue between I-280 and Isaac Streets Drive as part of the project. ODOT will reimburse the city for 90 percent of the eligible costs up to a maximum of $2.4 million.

Oregon council earlier this year authorized Public Service Director Paul Roman to take bids for the project. The bids were opened on Sept. 9.

“There were only two bids, but they were very competitive,” said Roman.

The total project cost is $5.6 million.

Designs, right of way acquisition, and utility relocation work costs close to $2 million, said Roman. Construction is an additional $3.6 million.

“We’ve had a lot of stakeholder meetings. A lot of people are aware of [the project],” said Roman.

`Significant’ project
Though the cost is high, the project is considered a significant one for the city, said City Administrator Mike Beazley.

“As the stakeholders have made it clear in meetings over the last four years on this, we get one shot on this every few generations,” said Beazley. “It’s important, we believe, to do the things like the lines underground - to do the betterments that will really help position Oregon for some of the things we’ve all been working toward. I feel good about the project. I’m excited it’s finally happening. It’s an expensive project, but it’s something that I think will pay off for the community for years to come.”

The project includes the construction of a dedicated public access road to alleviate traffic congestion.

The road will improve access to businesses near the intersection at Navarre Avenue, such as Tim Horton’s, Arby’s, and in the Freeway Plaza where several shops are located.

The project also includes the construction of a median along Navarre between Munding Drive and Isaac Streets Drive, and median openings to accommodate turnarounds and emergency access.

Seven turnarounds are expected to be constructed from I-280 to Isaac Streets Drive.

That section of Navarre is considered a hazard for vehicles heading east. Mayor Mike Seferian once called it “the worst spot in the city,” where there is a high rate of injury accidents.

The project also includes aesthetic enhancements, such as decorative poles and LED street lighting


City identity
Seferian said the improvements will help give the city its own identity.

“One of the things we struggle with is identity,” he said. “People say, `The City of Oregon is out there.’ They recognize us as out on an island or on a peninsula somewhere and don’t really know where it is or what’s been going on out here in the recent past,” he said.

The new multi-million dollar Oregon Clean Energy power plant drew considerable interest from outside the city, he added.

“The power plant, because it had big dollar numbers, got big recognition throughout not only the region but places that exceeded our region all over the United States. So now we’re actually developing an identity. So when we do get people to come visit because they’re interested now, we want to give them a little of the `wow’ factor.”

It will also be a first step toward developing a downtown, he added.

Councilman Tim Zale agreed.

“We all realize there isn’t much we can do to force businesses to come to Oregon, but with this kind of project, and the other projects we’ve discussed that may dovetail into this, this is what will really make Oregon more attractive to businesses wanting to come here,” said Zale.

“The work we’re going to do on Navarre Avenue will indeed prime the pump for commercial and retail development,” said Councilman James Seaman. “As the mayor said, it will put Oregon on the map.”

The project is expected to start in the next month, said Roman.

“This project does include a full waterline replacement between I-280 and Isaac Streets Drive, which is something we need. We estimate that to be close to $300,000. That’s also a betterment. But ODOT is not going to cover that. So betterments aren’t necessarily all aesthetics. There are other utility improvements that are needed that are being a part of this project. A lot of the underground work is what will occur first. You’ll have the waterline and a lot of underground work occurring probably through the fall and winter months, then the bulk of it will be constructed next year. It is our plan to have it done by the end of next year.”

 

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