BRUNSWICK — The cost of repairing Pearl Road has gone up, and the city will be dipping into its cash reserves to cover the difference.
City Engineer Ryan Cummins told City Council this week that engineers from the Ohio Department of Transportation have assessed the 4-mile segment of Pearl Road set to be repaired next year and determined the base under the pavement is in worse condition than previously thought.
“It’s very old,” Cummins said. “It’s showing signs through the asphalt surface of not being structurally sound.”
He said engineers originally estimated about $56,000 worth of base repair would be required. Now, the cheapest option to fix the problem, asphalt, is up to $171,888.
The total project cost is just more than $900,000, of which ODOT covers 80 percent, but that does not include base repair, which must be covered 100 percent by the city.
Cummins said the city planned to cover its total share of the project with a $436,773 grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission, which would have covered the $56,000 in base repairs and left some money for curb or sidewalk repairs.
But with the price tag going up, the city has to dip into its cash reserves and forgo any side projects.
Finance Director Todd Fischer said the money will come out of the city’s road improvement fund, which has a cash reserve of about $500,000.
Cummins said the city has the option to repair the base with asphalt or concrete, the latter being more durable but more expensive.
If the city chooses to use asphalt, the additional work is going to run the city about $104,000, Cummins said.
Concrete would up the total cost to $233,337, with Brunswick paying about $165,000.
On Monday, Council members agreed to go along with the administration’s recommendation of asphalt.
“We’re trying to make the limited dollars go as far as they can,” Cummins said.
The city has a 2.7-mill road levy on the Nov. 8 ballot, but if approved the funds would not arrive soon enough to cover the upfront payments ODOT requires for the project, Cummins said.
He said he has not yet seen ODOT’s plans that show what sections of the road need the most work underneath the surface.
The project is slated to begin in late spring and should be completed by fall 2012, Cummins said. He said the repairs should hold up for about 15 years, at which point a reconstruction may be necessary. For the time being, however, resurfacing with some base repair is all that is on the docket.
“There’s a significant amount of curbs, sidewalk, apron and drain improvements that are needed up and down the corridor that you could easily do, but it takes money to do those things,” Cummins said. “We just don’t have those funds at this time.”
Contact Jennifer Pignolet at (330) 721-4063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.