Hudson -- A bridge over the railroad tracks on Hines Hill Road may be five years away, but the preliminary plans have been completed and a new road and bridge south of the existing one is in the works.
Starting at Prospect Road, a new Hines Hill Road would be created parallel and south of the existing one with a bridge built over the railroad tracks. The new road would reconnect just west of the former entrance to the Youth Development Center.
The original stretch of Hines Hill Road will be converted to an access road for city utilities.
GPD Group completed the preliminary development phase on the Hines Hill Grade Separation Project with an open house at Barlow Community Center Feb. 27 for residents' comments. The open house is a requirement of the Ohio Department of Transportation, which is in charge of the project, according to GPD Group Project Manager Mark Grossman.
The design was federally funded with a $273,000 grant. The $6 million project is unfunded, but City Engineer Thom Sheridan said he is seeking funding sources.
The projected new road is approximately 3,350 feet in length, extending from 1,950 feet west of the tracks to 600 feet east of the Hines Hill Road and Prospect Road intersection, according to the information sheet provided at the open house. The project will require obtaining permanent and temporary rights-of-way along Hines Hill Road.
The work would take six to nine months, but traffic would be maintained by offsetting the bridge and new road to the south of the existing Hines Hill Road, Grossman said.
There are no structural impacts to the south, and the road cannot be built on the north side of Hines Hill Road because the land is part of the Western Reserve Land Conservancy, Grossman said.
The bridge options include a steel beam bridge with a cost of approximately $1.2 million or an arch bridge with dirt banks with a cost of $1 million.
The new roadway would have 12 foot lanes and five foot bike lanes on each side, according to the plans.
The Norfolk Southern Railroad crossing carries 50 to 60 trains each day, and the average daily traffic on Hines Hill Road is approximately 4,500 vehicles, Grossman said. The Grade Separation will provide unimpeded access to the northwest corner of Hudson and a safer crossing.
Hines Hill Road resident Michael Kotarski said he does not like to stop for trains at the railroad crossing on Hines Hill Road. They sometimes stop and it takes a long time, he said. He uses alternate routes to reach his home.
"It can add 15 minutes to a daily commute," Kotarski said. "Ambulances can't get through [when a train is stopped]."
The bridge will allow traffic to flow unimpeded, but it may cause traffic to increase, Kotarski said.
The open house and questionnaire allows citizens to offer their opinion. The questionnaire asks for general comments on the planned improvements; whether the resident is in favor of the improvements; which road alignment they prefer; and which bridge is preferred.
Kotarski said he plans to review the information provided at the open house and send in the questionnaire.
"As long as it doesn't raise taxes, I'm all for it," he said.
Citizens can provide feed back until March 28 by emailing Chris Papp (email@example.com), or by phone at 330-342-1770 or by sending a letter to: Engineering Department Hines Hill Road Grade Separation City of Hudson 115 Executive Parkway, Suite 400 Hudson, Ohio 44236.
Facebook: Laura Freeman, Record Publishing