On September 13, 2013, the NOACA Board of Directors approved the following regarding this project: Resolution No. 2013-029 Project Planning Review and Resolution No. 2013-030 Plan and TIP Amendment. The project Planning Review (PPR) and Intergovernmental Review and Consultation (IGRC) processes for this project are now complete.

Title: Replace Bridge on Old Rockside Road in Independence
Sponsor: City of Independence
PID No.: 91563
Estimated Total Cost: $5,300,000 (preliminary engineering, right-of-way and construction)
Proposed Source of Federal Funds: ODOT and NOACA

History/Background: In June 2011, the City of Independence obtained $2,500,000 in Municipal Bridge (MBR) Program funding, through the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for the replacement of the bridge on Old Rockside Road in the City of Independence. The project is listed in the NOACA state fiscal years (SFY) 2014 – 2017 TIP dated May 10, 2013 with construction (C) programmed for SFY 2015. On February 13, 2010, the City of Independence passed Resolution No. 2013-16, authorizing the mayor to submit an application to the (NOACA) for grant funds for use in connection with the replacement of the Old Rockside Road Bridge and declaring an emergency.

Current Conditions: Old Rockside Road is functionally classified as an urban local road. The road is a two-lane facility with twelve-foot-wide lanes and with a pavement width of 26 feet. The sponsor reports that there is a 4½-foot wide sidewalk only on the south side. The posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour. The Old Rockside Road Bridge was built in July 1960. The bridge has a pavement width of 22 feet with two eleven-foot-wide lanes. There are no sidewalks on the bridge.

According to the sponsor, the Old Rockside Road Bridge is a vital link to commerce and recreation for the City of Independence and Cuyahoga County. The bridge provides access to seven acres of commercial/industrial activity in the City of Independence. The sponsor reports that the structure is the only ingress/egress available to the commercial/industrial area. It also provides access to the northern most rail depot for the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (CVSR). The bridge has a general appraisal rating of 4A (poor condition, no restrictions) with a sufficiency rating of 25.5 (structurally deficient).

According to the sponsor, the following elements predispose this structure to be a serious problem for the City of Independence businesses, buildings, and owners/employees, of the commercial/industrial subdivision on the west side of the Cuyahoga River, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) and CVSR:
lack of alternate access. The bridge is the only route in and out of the seven-acre commercial/industrial area west of the Cuyahoga River;
All Crane Rentals is an employer on the west side of the Cuyahoga River. The nature of their business requires super loads traversing this bridge every day;
any load reduction placed on this structure would be a detrimental economic impact;
the flood prone nature of the area makes the original sandstone abutments extremely vulnerable to scour damage.
the existing pre-stressed concrete box beams are 53-years old and their remaining useful life is limited;
the narrow width of the existing structure does not allow 2-way traffic to be maintained during construction. This may result in a new structure being built north of the existing structure;
lack of adequate pedestrian accommodations on the existing structure; and
numerous existing safety issues: sub-standard deck width of 22 feet is narrow for normal commercial vehicles, much less super and oversized vehicles; lack of re-directional parapet railings; lack of safety walks; and river geometrics that equate to constant maintenance problems beyond the City’s ability to adequately manage.
According to the sponsor, if the structure were to have a load limit or a total closure becomes necessary, many, if not all of these businesses and CVNP/CVSR Depot would be forced to abandon the area before a new structure could be built.

Proposed Project: The proposed project involves the replacement of a structurally deficient box beam bridge on Old Rockside Road over the Cuyahoga River in Independence (illustration). The sponsor reports that the proposed pavement width of the bridge depends on the bridge type study, but the bridge will be two lanes with 12 foot-wide lanes. The sponsor also proposes a ten-foot-wide sidewalk only on the south side of the bridge.

The estimated total cost, provided by the sponsor, is $5,300,000. The estimated cost of preliminary engineering preliminary development (PEPD) is $450,000. The estimated cost of preliminary engineering detailed design (PEDD) is $450,000. The estimated cost of right-of-way (RW) is $200,000. PEPD, PEDD and RW will be funded entirely by the City of Independence. The estimated construction cost is $4,200,000. The sponsor obtained $2,500,000 in ODOT MBR funds toward the construction cost. The sponsor must provide a 20 percent match ($625,000) to the MBR funds. The difference between the estimated construction cost and the identified funding is $1,075,000. The sponsor requests eighty percent ($860,000) of the difference be funded with NOACA-administered Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds. The sponsor will provide the twenty percent match ($215,000).

Staff Comment (Summary):

Short Range Planning: Project Development and Member Services Team

  • This project is consistent with NOACA's Connections+ 2035 Goals #3 (Preserve and Improve the Efficiency and Safety of the Existing Transportation System), #4 (Establish a Balanced System which Enhances Modal Choices), #7 (Foster Reinvestment in Existing Urban Core Areas) and #10 (Quality of Life through Attention to Aesthetics in Planning).
  • This project is currently portrayed in NOACA’s SFYs 2014 – 2017 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), dated May 10, 2013, with Municipal Bridge Program funds, but no NOACA-controlled funds. The sponsor’s request for NOACA-controlled STP funds toward the project’s construction cost warrants its processing through project planning review (PPR).
  • Recommend committee and public review in order to obtain comments.

Long Range Planning: Technical Support

  • This project facilitates goods movement and economic development. Old Rockside Road is the only access point for several large industrial and freight related commercial businesses. This project will improve the safety and efficiency on Old Rockside Road.

Intergovernmental Review and Consultation (IGRC):

If you are a representative of a governmental entity and would like to comment on this project, please email us.

ODOT District 12:
"ODOT District 12 supports the continued development of this project."

Public Involvement:

NOACA encourages comments from the public on this proposed transportation improvement project. We would appreciate it if you include your city of residence, although it is not required. The public review period lasts until the Governing Board makes a decision about them.

Committee Review:

Regional Transportation Investment Subcommittee (RTIS) / Transportation Subcommittee:

  •  No comments; recommended for amendment to NOACA’s Transportation Plan and Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).

Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Council:

  • The BPAC supports this project.
Last updated: 9/17/2013 9:26:18 AM