By Sue Botos
While safety-service Director Mary Kay Costello has promised that projects throughout the city during the upcoming year will not “be as robust” as they were in 2015, she stated that there is still plenty to be done, including the city’s most ambitious water main renovation to date.
During the city’s annual budget hearing in early December, Costello said that the major project on tap for 2016 is water line replacement on Wooster Road between Center Ridge and Detroit roads. “This (work) is critical. There have been a number of water line ruptures that have undermined our sewers and caused expensive repairs,” she stated.
The project, estimated at $2.1 million, will be funded by the city’s agreement with the Cleveland Division of Water and, according to Costello, will require some careful planning. “This is the largest water line project we have attempted to date, and that brings some additional challenges of working on temporary water service within the confines of the weather, construction season, and in the context of large apartments (and) condominiums along Wooster,” she said.
Because Wooster is a state route, Costello predicted that truck traffic will be a particular concern.
Long-awaited work on Hampton and Lakeview roads, between Center Ridge and Hilliard, is also on the radar for 2016. Costello reported that Cleveland Water approved Lakeview during its fall round of applications, but not Hampton. She said that the city will apply again in early spring, joining the two projects together. Costello said that the city is “confident” the larger proposal will receive enough points to be part of Cleveland Water’s 2016 schedule.
Funding for storm and sanitary sewer replacement on Hampton and Lakeview has been granted by the state, and, Costello said, engineering for this work will take place during water line replacement. “This project is a critical improvement towards reducing the sanitary water falling into the Magnolia (Drive) sanitary sewer overflow during rain events,” she stated.
Costello added that sewer work on Westway Road, between Northview and Wagar roads, will further reduce this overflow. “This is a critical improvement to meet our U.S. EPA mandates,” she noted.
On the list for repaving projects are Falmouth Drive, Northview, Westway, Wooster Parkway and Linden Road. Devon Hill and Country Club are being considered for less extensive paving work (similar to what was used on River Oaks Drive), and Tonawanda Drive will be paved after a water line project. A portion of the City Hall parking lot near the police station is also being considered for prepaving, as well as a section of Morewood where a new force main was installed in 2015.
Costello also outlined a list of equipment purchases, led by a sewer jet ($425,000), fire ambulance ($241,000) and street sweeper ($150,000). In addition, she reported the need for four trash packing trucks, four trash scooters, a semitrailer and tractor, three dump trucks and an asphalt roller.
Costello said that the trash packers will replace models from the 1990s. The scooters will cost $33,000 each and, while expected to last three years, Costello said they will be stretched to four or five years.
Answering a question from Councilman at Large Chris Klym, Costello said that packers are used for leaf collection, recycling, and spring and summer grass pickup, as well as three on daily trash collection. Two packers are also available for maintenance at the city transfer station.
Also in the budget is an update to the 2007 fire chief’s vehicle as well as a new sedan for senior transportation. Noting that very little equipment has been purchased over the past 10 years, Councilman John Shepherd commented, “We’re still in a catch-up phase.”