Macedonia access drive into Crossings under construction

Shopping center soon to have Route 8 entrance/exit

JEFF SAUNDERS
Reporter
Construction workers are building a new access drive into the Crossings at Golden Link shopping center from Route 8, visible in back. Only southbound traffic on the divided highway will be able to enter the drive.

MACEDONIA — In September, motorists should be able to enter the Crossings at Golden Link shopping center directly from Route 8, which officials say should alleviate some congestion at the shopping center’s Route 82 entrance.

Work began July 28 on the new right-turn-in, right-turn-out access south of Route 82, said City Engineer Joe Gigliotti

He said the work expected to take approximately six weeks.

Mayor Nick Molnar said the new drive will boost safety in that it will allow another way in for police and fire vehicles in emergencies.

“The other piece, obviously, is people are going into the shopping center to shop,” he said. “It gives another entrance that can alleviate traffic on 82. Through the engineering department, we determined that would obviously be a good use. Fortunately, the property owners over there initiated the conversation and it came to fruition and they’re paying for it. So it’s hard to dispute the good that’s coming out of that.”

The drive, 300 feet long and 50 feet wide, is being constructed next to the Culver’s restaurant, between Culver’s and Chipotle to the north.

Culver’s co-owner Steve Skomski said the new access is much needed.

“I think it’s going to be great for the citizens of Macedonia,” he said. “That intersection at 8 and 82 has always been, no matter which way you’re going, congested. Especially turning into the Crossings at Golden Link is also, sometimes the traffic is beyond the left turn lane. It really needs to be lightened up, and I think this will lighten it up quite a bit. I think it will be good for everybody who lives in Macedonia, it will be good for businesses, it will be safer.”

“Boy, they’re going to town on this thing. It’s amazing,” said Dan Stanko, owner of Chick-fil-A, located just north of Chipotle.

Stanko said he agrees it will “without question” be good for business and that it will improve safety, recalling a prior incident that shut down Route 82.

“It was probably five years ago, four years ago, we had a water main break right in front of of where Aldi is right now,” he said. “And it just blocked off the whole entrance.”

Stanko said it took a day or so to make repairs.

“But if it was a week, that would be devastating,” he said.

Gigliotti said that during at least part of the construction, the right southbound lane on Route 8 will be closed.

“The lane closure will remain in effect as needed, based on traffic flow, and with respect to the safety of the construction crew and motorists alike,” he said.

In June, City Council awarded a contract to Cleveland-based C.A. Agresta Construction for a little over $300,000. Besides the drive itself, the project will also include the installation of decorative light poles. Traffic control out of the drive onto Route 8 south will be provided by a stop sign.

Council also approved the issuance and sale of bond anticipation notes of up to $575,000 to pay the property owners’ portion of the project costs in anticipation of the collection of the special assessments covering 98% of the costs. The city paying the remaining 2%, or a little over $10,000.

“Other project associated costs will also be assessed,” said Gigliotti. “The total estimated project cost, as used for purposes of the assessment, is $539,000.”

Gigliotti said all 12 properties within the shopping center, most of which are actually in Northfield Center, will be assessed. This includes a multi-tenant building between Target and Lowe’s.

“All of the property owners agreed to the assessment,” said Gigliotti.

The city initially tried to construct an access drive into the Crossings at Golden Link at that point along Route 8 within a few years after the shopping center was developed in the early 2000s, but the Ohio Department of Transportation rejected the request to maintain limited access to Route 8.

“Identifying the safety issues helped our cause,” said Molnar in explaining how the city convinced ODOT to change its mind.

Stanko said, “From a safety perspective, it’s just great.”

“The residents overall are probably the big winners,” he said.

Editor’s note: Correspondent Ken Lahmers contributed to this story.

Reporter Jeff Saunders can be reached at jsaunders@recordpub.com or @JeffSaunders_RP.

Construction is underway on a new access drive for the Crossings at Golden Link shopping center off Route 8 southbound in Macedonia, adjacent to Culver's restaurant