Contentious Avon Road to close again
Avon Road between Bradley and Nagel is closing again, this time to less animosity.
In 2009, Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough placed a guardrail at the Avon border, effectively closing a quick access for Avon residents to the Crocker Road I-90 interchange, among other destinations. His reasoning: The road was unsafe and too expensive to fix.
This occurred years before Avon got its own access to I-90 with the Nagel interchange, which is at the east end of Avon road.
Avon's then-Mayor Jim Smith was upset. According to an April 2009 Cleveland.com report, he said he was given a “lead time of about a minute and a half” and called only when the barriers were in place.
Since then, the road was reopened twice – temporarily – in 2012 and recently to accommodate the overflow traffic from construction in Avon.
In a recent City Council meeting, Clough said he received a petition (among about 700 petitioners from all over Northeast Ohio, there are 197 Avon residents, 143 Westlake residents) requesting the road remain open permanently.
Clough thinks it will cost $3 million just to fix the Westlake section of Avon road – about half a mile. Avon’s section is a mile.
Why so much?
Bob Kelly, Westlake City Engineer, said, “The entire roadway will have to be re-constructed and the intersection of Avon Road at Bradley Road widened and a signal installed.”
Avon Road, on the Westlake side, has only one residential house. On the Avon side, there are several houses and two subdivisions.
Avon City Councilman Brian Fischer, who lives in one of the subdivisions, Willow Creek, conducted an unofficial poll in his subdivision about opening up Avon Road to through traffic. The result is split in the middle.
Fischer said his biggest concern is safety of the residents. Most of Avon Road has no sidewalk. (This reporter found an old, narrow, two-way road with limited, uneven shoulders and ditches.) The through-traffic may not know to watch out for pedestrians or cyclists. He supports placement of sidewalks if Avon Road is to be opened.
Clough and Avon Mayor Bryan Jensen met in mid-September. Jensen said he’d like to “work together as neighbors.” There may be general funding, grant money, and increased gas tax to support building a new road.
A plan is in place for both city engineers to meet, as Clough said, to “work out some numbers.”
Meanwhile, Clough plans to close Avon Road again in December when the construction on Nagel Road is completed.