Last week, the city’s director of public works said that the city may have to wait until at least 2014 for a Madison Avenue overhaul.
Not so fast, said Mayor Michael Summers.
He said he’s still holding out hope that the $2.5 million repaving project could still get done in 2013.
“I haven’t given up,” Summers said. “It’s my job to work hard to get resources for this city. Madison Avenue needs this attention now.”
It’s a matter of funding, city officials have said.
Originally, the city had worked out a plan to match 45 percent of the cost with the Ohio Public Works Commission, and the county would pick up the remaining 10 percent.
Then, the county announced a “no local funds” repaving program that would save the city lots of cash.
Summers said that county officials told Lakewood that the city may have to wait at the back of the line while the county looked to obtain federal money.
“Madison Avenue is a county road and it’s very high in (the county’s) ranking,” he said. “That means it’s in poor shape compared with other county roads. So we need to get this done sooner, not later.”
Madison Avenue last got fresh pavement in 1990.
Summers said he’s still got some “political cards” in the deck, adding that the city could just “walk away” from the original plan to qualify for the county’s no-local-funds program.
“You can go get federal money all you want, but we’re holding you to your strategy and your commitments and your policy is no local share,” he said. “They haven’t said ‘no, we wont’ do it.’ The process to get federal money is a slow process, but that doesn’t let you off the hook.”
The city is also eyeing a $2.5 million traffic signalization — not unlike the Detroit Avenue project this summer — and possible streetscape enhancements that may get tied in with the repaving project.
Summers said he’s got several meetings on his calendar with the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency, the Regional Transit Authority and county officials.
“Madison is a very important priority," he added. “There’s no reason why Madison Avenue can’t be as viable as Detroit Avenue. It’ll be different … But just as vibrant.