Stalled street project frustrates residents

MARIETTA – Plans to repair a land slip that has caused the 100 block of Bellevue Street in Marietta to be closed since last year are moving along more slowly than residents would like.

Malinda Cole, 82, is one of two residents that reside within the portion of the street that is closed.

Cole, who has been a resident of 104 Bellevue St. for more than 40 years, said she is ready for the city to take some sort of action.

“It’s a road that is used more than you would think,” said Cole. “It hasn’t been a major inconvenience for me personally, but I know it has for some of my neighbors and the (Marietta Care and Rehabilitation Center) employees.”

Cole attended a meeting several months ago that the city had for residents of that area.

“I talked to (Marietta City Engineer) Joe Tucker and councilman Tom Vukovic at the meeting,” she said. “It seems like no one really knew what steps to take until they have looked into it more.”

For a time the city considered permanently vacating the roadway, which would have left the road as the responsibility of the residents of the street.

“There is still a possibility that the necessary funding might not be available for this project and the road could be closed,” said Tucker.

The preference would be to repair the road, he said.

The plan to acquire the funding necessary for the project is to apply for a grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission.

“In order to apply for a grant with OPWC you have to fill out a complete engineer’s cost estimate,” said Tucker. “There are various ways to go about repairing the slip and finding the most cost effective one will be part of the engineer’s cost estimate.”

Depending on what the engineer’s cost estimate shows, one possible way to repair the land slip would be to place drilled cassions into the ground.

“It would likely cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to use this method because they need to be socketed into the rock,” said Tucker.

He also noted that no matter what method is chosen the repair of this particular land slip will be an expensive project.

“Regardless of what we decide to do it’s not going to be an easy or cheap fix,” he said.

Tucker wants citizens to know that this isn’t a project the city is avoiding.

“In my seven years with the department this is the highest number of projects we’ve ever managed,” said Tucker. “We are trying to get these projects that already have funding and deadlines finished right now before we start other things.”

Tucker will be contacting an outside engineering firm to begin looking into retrieving a grant to fund the Bellevue repair.

“I’m considering contacting one of the firms we’ve worked with in the past to start researching the issue,” he said. “But until we find how to fix the problem and see if there is a grant to do so, we will have to keep the roadway closed.”

Regardless of what the outcome ultimately is, Cole said she would like to have some resolution to the issue as soon as possible.

“I think it needs to be fixed for the citizens that need it,” she said. “But if it can’t be fixed then they at least need to take steps to close it down permanently.”