Country Club Boulevard is a gateway into North Olmsted’s retail, office and hospitality center for residents, workers and visitors entering the community from Interstate 480. In recent years, the aging infrastructure along this corridor created the need for the City to evaluate options for significant capital improvement. The Country Club Boulevard Streetscape Project will address the failing infrastructure of roadway and also vastly improve the visual impression of this corridor between Great Northern Boulevard and Victoria Lane.
The City was fortunate to be awarded a $350,000 Community Development Block Grant in 2011 which partially funded Phase 1 of this project between Lorain Road and Victoria Lane. The second phase involves even more extensive improvements to a 3,500 lineal foot portion of the four-lane road corridor. Specifically, the road will be resurfaced, the existing crumbling concrete median island will be removed and replaced with a mix of decorative hardscape and landscape and the existing curb ramps will be removed and replaced with ADA compliant concrete curb ramps. Additionally, existing light poles will be removed and replaced with decorative lighting at a more pedestrian scale. Concrete curbs will be replaced, as necessary, along with some sidewalks areas. A portion of new sidewalk will be extended along the south side of the street east of La Quinta Inn & Suites to connect to the bike path which runs along I-480 to Stearns Road. Crosswalks will be improved, as well.
Total project cost is estimated at $1.6 million. Construction is expected to begin in July 2017 and conclude by the end of the calendar year.
The project area was the subject of a 2010 planning study funded by NOACA’s Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative. The plan’s goals were to improve transportation facilities for transit, bicycles, and pedestrians, as well as to address streetscape enhancements. The City has taken a planned and methodical approach to improvements in the project area. Planning studies such as the 2015 Master Plan and the NOACA study set the framework for capital projects. Phase 1 was the first significant streetscape project of its type in the City and represented the City’s commitment to continue the effort along the entire corridor.
To bring resources to the table, City Council adopted legislation in 2012 authorizing Tax Increment Financing (TIF) as a tool to leverage private investment in and around the project area. Millions have been invested since 2012 in the neighboring mall, shopping plaza, hotel and office park properties, and the associated increase in property value provides a revenue stream for the TIF. Certainly, public-private synergy is playing a big role in transforming the corridor. Together all of these projects come together to advance the City’s objectives and represent significant investment in this key area of the community.