Rockwood repair timeframe delayed
CHESAPEAKE — Repairing the almost three-year-old landslide on Rockwood Avenue in Chesapeake is going back to the drawing board.
At the first of the year Ohio Department of Transportation officials reported that the project was expected to go out for bid in March. Now bid letting won’t happen until possibly the spring of 2013.
“We have redesigned it a little more extensively and involved,” said Kathleen Fuller, spokesperson for ODOT District 9. “It will be a top-down construction where you tie back into the hillside. We will cut back more into the hill and by doing that we have to acquire the right of way.”
The Village of Chesapeake has struggled to keep a section of Rockwood open as the hillside continues to slip down onto the roadway. At times the road has been reduced to a single lane because dirt from the hillside covered the road.
The original plan was to construct a gravity retaining wall into the hillside. Since that section of the avenue is also State Route 7, maintenance of it comes under the jurisdiction of ODOT.
“We did further assessment with regard to the rock and (the tie back) would be a much better repair,” Fuller said.
Since doing this kind of repair requires land acquisition from a private individual, the entire repair process will take longer. Previously the project had been deemed an emergency, which meant a much shorter length of time before the actual work was begun.
“Real estate is a longer process,” Fuller said.
“You have to go through a step-by-step process. You have to approach the property owner. You have to have a very, very detailed line on what is being acquired. There can’t be any gray areas.”
Right now cost is estimated to hit at least $900,000, but could go higher, Fuller said.
However until the repairs are completed ODOT crews based in the county will continue to clear the roadway when needed.
“The roads are safe,” she said. “This (repair) should last much longer. Our geotechnical engineers said we need to do something more involved and not have to do it again five years from now. Anything can happen. You hope you will get a long-term repair.”
The updated design work is almost completed, she said.
“I would like to have it fixed,” Chesapeake Mayor Dick Gilpin said. “If they are going to redesign it and make a better retaining wall, I’m happy. But we have dealt with this for three years.
“We are at the mercy of the type of project it is and the funding. I am happy they are working on it, but disappointed with the time frame. But I am glad they are doing it. There is no way we could afford that.”