Mayor's Corner: Our Great Public Works Department

The Public Works Department is the glue that holds our city infrastructure together. Sometimes Lakewood can seem like a small town, but in our roughly 6 square miles, we are packed with over 50,000 people, 217 streets, 180 miles of sidewalks, and 74 acres of parks, not to mention multiple City-owned properties. It takes an incredible amount of effort to maintain and operate all of this real estate day-in and day-out. Our hardworking Public Works team continues to do fantastic work, and we should all be thankful for what they do to make Lakewood such a desirable place to live.  

For context, last year alone, the City resurfaced three miles of roadways, planted over 400 new trees, and responded to a number of emergency issues that regularly present themselves due to our aging infrastructure. This only touches the surface of the work that goes on. As I often say, we all love our historic city and the charm that goes along with that – but it also is a lot of work to keep some of that aging infrastructure in good shape.

As we approach the summer, it is certainly a busy season for the Public Works Department once again. In the months to come, they will be performing and overseeing a large number of important projects. These include major infrastructure efforts such as the new sewer interceptor which will run the length of our city as well as the completion of the Foster Pool rebuild in Lakewood Park before swim season and our new combination refuse and recycling center and animal shelter on Berea Road. These multimillion dollar projects are challenging to manage and our public works team has done a great job ensuring they live up to our city needs. Public Works continues to keep our parks maintained daily while also working on a number of improvements. For example, we will also see improvements at the Kauffman Park tennis courts, Niagara Park playground equipment and pickle ball courts at Lakewood Park.

Beyond some of these more major and visible projects, the day-to-day and week-to-week demands for public works in a city as dense as Lakewood is constant. Street resurfacing, crack sealing, and sidewalk replacement will be in high gear during warm weather months, along with tree planting and tree care. It would be impossible to list everything our Public Works Department does in a single column, but hopefully this provides a taste of the work.

I also want to say a word of thanks to our new public works director, Chris Gordon, who has really hit the ground running, and kept things operating smoothly in the department. As you are out and about in the warmer weather in our lovely city, I encourage you to say hello to Chris and our Public Works team who do so much for us all.

Volume 19, Issue 9, Posted 12:21 PM, 05.03.2023