December 21, 2014

Medina
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Officials seek ways to open Cobblestone Park Drive

MONTVILLE TWP. — State, county and township officials are continuing to explore ways to open Cobblestone Park Drive at state Route 3.

At a recent meeting of township officials and representatives from the Ohio Department of Transportation, Medina Schools and Medina County Highway Engineer’s Office, the cost of improvements to the intersection rose from $500,000 to $750,000, Trustee Jeff Brandon said, adding officials are “looking outside the box” to find a way to open the intersection.

Developers were told June 22, 2009, that Cobblestone Park Drive will not open until a southbound turning lane on state Route 3 is constructed. (GAZETTE FILE PHOTO)

Developers were told June 22, 2009, that Cobblestone Park Drive will not open until a southbound turning lane on state Route 3 is constructed. (GAZETTE FILE PHOTO)

“It may be a matter of coming up with a new design to lower the cost to open up the intersection and add turning lanes once commercial development takes place,” Brandon said Monday.

Cobblestone Park Drive remains barricaded where it ends at Route 3 across from state Route 162. Opening the drive, which leads to Ralph E. Waite Elementary School and Cobblestone Park, awaits the installation of two turning lanes.

Officials are exploring whether they could open the intersection without one of the turning lanes and add it once money from commercial development is secured.

“On the original design, there was an acceleration and deceleration lane east of state Route 3 leading to Cobblestone, and it may be where that component can come later and we would have commercial developers pay for that,” he said.

Officials did not come up with a funding solution at a May 24 meeting, but Brandon said ODOT, Medina Schools and county engineers are still on board to get the intersection open.

The township’s portion of the intersection likely would come from assessing commercial property owners east of Route 3, he said. Other funding could come from the county Transportation Improvement District.

Improvements to the intersection are unlikely to occur before 2012, and Brandon said he hopes to bring the cost of the intersection down to less than $500,000.

The engineer’s office is reviewing plans made by the developer of Cobblestone Park, Sycamore Group.

In 2009, the developer, citing the poor economy, said it could not afford to add southbound turning lanes to Route 3 as required by ODOT.

Though they were designed for a contractor, the drawings will need to be done as a locally administered project, county Engineer Mike Salay said.

“There aren’t any red flags saying this won’t work as a local-let project,” he said. “It’s going to need a little work to get the plan to its final form.”

Salay said his office likely will make small changes to the plan, but they probably won’t lower the cost of staffing for the project.

“As far as the plan developed, I don’t think it was a Cadillac plan to start with,” he said. “I don’t think there is anyway to look at the design and get the cost lower other than not building all of the lanes initially.”

Contact Lisa Hlavinka at (330) 721-4048 or lhlavinka@medina-gazette.com.