Jim Bowling, our City Engineer, copied me on a couple of items last week that provided some really helpful summary information for the Crain / Fairchild Avenue bridge project including one of the best visual diagrams of the new bridge location relative to the current bridge. I get a lot of questions about this project so when I saw Jim’s information I immediately thought it needed to go up on the blog, so here it is.
The information that I’ve shared below on the Crain Avenue/Fairchild bridge project comes from 2 sources produced by Jim Bowling. The first is a series of questions asked by a Kent Stater reporter followed by Jim’s answers. The second is part of Jim’s effort to work with Congressman Ryan’s office to obtain additional federal funding to support the bridge project. Congressman Ryan’s office has been tremendously helpful in securing funding for Kent projects like the Portage Hike and Bike Trail, so when one of his assistants asked if the Congressman could offer more financial help Jim was the first in line to take him up on his offer. Obviously there’s no guarantees that federal earmarks will follow but I thought Jim did a great job explaining the financial need.
But before we get started here’s a rendering that Jim has shared that shows how the proposed project will change the current intersections of SR 43 at Fairchild and Crain Avenue.
Kent State Student Questions (in grey) and Jim’s Answers (in blue):
1. Can you please provide an update on the Crain Avenue bridge replacement project?
The project is proceeding well. We are currently working on four phases of the project:
1. We met recently with the Kent Citizen Advisory Committee on 1/31/08 and 2/5/08. At these meetings we updated the committee and general public who attended. We also finalized some of the amenities desired by the community for the project. ARCADIS (the design firm) is completing the detailed design of the project to submit the Stage 2 (85% complete) to the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). The detail design is required to be 100% complete and approved by ODOT in December 2008.
2. Right-of-way acquisition is proceeding. This process includes completing title searches, appraisals, review appraisals, negotiations and closing on for the property required to construct the project. Currently, 85% of the appraisals are completed and 14 out of 47 owners have agreed to the compensation offered in the appraisal. The right-of-way acquisition phase is anticipated to be completed in October, 2008.
3. We are currently working with ODOT, AT&T, Dominion East Ohio on impacts to the private utilities in the area. This includes what existing utility infrastructure will be affected and determining where the new infrastructure will be located.
4. We are currently coordinating with ODOT, ABC RR and CSXT on establishing the required legal documents to construct the project in and above the railroads facilities.
2. More specifically, how much land has been acquired in terms of property, square ft., and costs? How much is still needed? Is there any individuals holding out or planning to go to court currently?
All property owners are negotiating in good faith at this time. There has been no discussions on needing to go to court with any of the property owners at this time.
3. How is the working relationship among Kent, ODOT and The Federal Government?
The City of Kent, ODOT and Portage County are all working hard to get this important project completed. Without all parties continuous efforts the project would not be possible.
4. Can you elaborate some on the “Right-of-Way” phase you mention in the 360Blog on September 2007? I’m not sure I understand completely. When do you anticipate this part of the project to be completed?
The right-of-way phase consists of acquiring the physical property required to construct the project following federal guidelines. The right-of-way acquisition phase is anticipated to be completed in October, 2008.
5. Is the bid date still tentatively planned the end of 2008 with construction beginning in 2009?
6. Approximately, how much is this project going to cost?
Construction costs are anticipated to be $13.5 to $15 million dollars depending upon how final bids come in
7. Also, after speaking to a resident on Crain Avenue last week, whom was given a price for her property and accepted, she had not received a check as of last week? She did intend to call the City. I have not talked to her since, but do you know if there are issues in paying the property owners? Have any or most received compensation for his or her properties?
There are no issues currently with paying the property owners. Once an owner has signed, council has to authorize the City to purchase the property, the check made out, the documents reviewed and filed at the County Tax Map and Auditor’s office. After that process is completed the check can be provided to the owner.
8. In your opinion, how is the process going?
The process is going well.
And lastly, to read Jim’s Appropriation Request Form (which gives more summary details for the project) for Congressman Ryan’s Office consideration Click Here.