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         Now that the Navarre Avenue Safety Improvements Project is completed, Oregon is planning on extending the project further east.

        “In budget talks, we did add some capital costs to do the same thing heading further east,” Public Service Director Paul Roman said at a recent Oregon City Council meeting. “We are planning that. There’s a few things I have ahead of that, like a water line replacement. We are lucky that we have a grant for that work, which is moving forward. That is our priority. But soon after that, we’ll start working on that design.”

        He said the city now has a better understanding of utility work and power pole removal that was performed as part of the project.

        “We now have a better feel of what they need to do their work. I think things will go better. But it’s still expensive work,” said Roman.

        The project involved implementing various safety and aesthetic improvements along Navarre Avenue between I-280 and Isaac Streets Drive to reduce crashes and improve safety. The city received grant funding from the Federal Highway Administration through the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for the project. Construction started early last year and was completed in November.

 

U-turns

        The project included the construction of a median along Navarre Avenue with bulb out and media openings to accommodate U-turns and emergency access. The project also included the construction of a public road between Wheeling Street and Navarre, located northeast of the intersection, to the Freeway strip mall to improve access to area businesses as well as provide access for emergency vehicles. Other improvements included upgraded traffic signals, the addition of a second left turn lane for southbound Wheeling Street, resurfacing to improve pavement skid resistance, waterline replacement and other related work.

        Prior to the roadway construction, utility contractors installed conduits within the city’s right-of-way along Navarre and Wheeling to bury existing overhead utilities that crossed the roadway.

        Council President Dennis Walendzak asked Roman if safety has improved at the Navarre Avenue and Wheeling Street intersection since the completion of the project.

        “I don’t know statistically where the accidents are,” said Roman. “I’m almost positive there has been a reduction. I think there are some hiccups in the design. I think with additional signage, things are going well otherwise.”

        City Administrator Mike Beazley said police officers have told him there are fewer accidents at the intersection.

        “Usually during the first phase of a project, folks are getting used to it. But there are already fewer accidents. There are fewer police calls out there. Long term, we’d like to go all the way to Coy. We have got to get people used to the first phase and see what they think of it. The businesses between Coy and Isaac Streets weren’t necessarily ready for it, but I think they’re going to be asking for it now,” said Beazley.

        Walendzak also asked Roman if there were any grants available that the city could apply for to fund the second phase of the project.

        “There’s always safety grant money available through ODOT,” said Roman. “You apply in the spring. The next section of Navarre we’re looking at is Coy and Navarre, which definitely needs to be addressed. We will see what we can do there.”

 

Added costs

        Also at the meeting, council agreed to pay Toledo Edison Company (TECO) $64,644 for additional work on the Navarre Avenue Safety Improvements Project.

        The actual costs incurred by TECO for the placement of the existing overhead utility line crossings at the intersection of Navarre Avenue and Wheeling Street and four additional existing overhead utility line crossings underground to improve aesthetics throughout the project were higher than originally estimated. The original estimated cost from TECO was $195,751. The final actual project cost from TECO was $260,395, a difference of $64,644.

        The original estimated cost was established in August 2016 from a preliminary engineering design provided by Toledo Edison and approved by council. The preliminary design was used by the city to prepare plans and specifications to hire a contractor for the installation of the underground conduits. The city contracted with S&S Directional Boring, Ltd. to install the necessary underground conduits to allow the utility companies to perform their work, according to the Department of Public Service.

        In December, 2016, the city and the contractor met with TECO field personnel to finalize the location of the underground conduit for installation. Based on field adjustments by Toledo Edison Field Personnel, the limits of the conduits at the Navarre and Wheeling intersection were extended further North-South and East-West. This design change increased the length of the work at this location but reduced the number of remaining power poles, according to the Department of Public Service.

        “The bulk of the additional work was to extend some of the underground lines and remove more poles at the intersection of Wheeling and Navarre,” said Roman. “They did some of this work at night on behalf of some of the businesses there to be less of a bother to them.”

       

       

 

 

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