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Girard mayor irked at ODOT delay of Churchill Road paving

Monday, October 24, 2016


Mayor James Melfi is expressing his displeasure at the Ohio Department of Transportation’s decision to delay paving of state Route 304, also known as Churchill Road.

Melfi said he had believed that the project would be completed this year, since bids came in this July. The project’s low bid of $356.682 from Americon Industrial Services LLC of Canfield came in under the estimated cost of $492,760. The job, which includes paving, installing catch basins and building handicap accessible sidewalks, is now slated for spring 2017, the mayor said.

“The reason for my disappointment starts with the fact that not one ODOT official called” to inform the city of the delay, Melfi said. “Someone should have called us and said, ‘Hey, we’ve been out there. It looks pretty bad. It’s pretty severe. What’s your opinion?’”

ODOT could not be reached for comment late Monday night.

Mefli met with representatives at the ODOT District 4 office in Akron earlier this month. He said the head of construction told him the agency could try to add one layer of asphalt before winter. That measure would make the road smoother in the short term. “The word ‘try’ was rather offensive and I told him so, which he took offense to, but I don’t really care because I’m the one who has to live with the road and our citizens and our traveling public,” Melfi said. “I made it quite clear to him of our city’s disappointment in ODOT. I made it also quite clear to him that it seems that the city of Girard ... really [has] experienced the brunt of all the closures and all the construction.”

City council plans to send a letter to ODOT to echo the mayor’s sentiments.