Mayor's Corner: Street Improvement

Lakewood is a historic city with wonderful character, but with age also comes a number of challenges in maintaining our public assets and infrastructure. One area where the City of Lakewood works diligently to prioritize needs and maximize value in our budget is in the Street Improvement Program. Public Works and the Mayor’s Office often get questions about how we allocate street improvement dollars and prioritize this important work.

Beyond ongoing response to unpredicted emergencies that demand street repairs, our Public Works Department annually is involved with resurfacing and related projects on anywhere from two to four miles of roadways. Because a number of state routes also run through Lakewood, NOACA, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and/or Cuyahoga County sometimes take the lead on costs and project management for repairs and resurfacing of those streets. For example, this year and next, NOACA and Cuyahoga County are leading a major resurfacing project on Hilliard Boulevard. NOACA bears 80% and the County bears 10% of the Hillard Road project costs. The County oversees the project, with the City having input and providing 10% of the costs.

In determining which streets the City will resurface in any given year, Public Works performs ongoing Pavement Condition Rating (PCR) evaluations on our roadways. Each of Lakewood’s 217 streets is given a PCR rating every 4 years or less to provide data for evaluation and allocation of resources. PCR surveys by the Public Works Department take into account the level of distress on pavement, including things like cracking, depressions, potholes, swelling, and a number of other conditions. These PCR ratings are used to prioritize which streets present the most pressing need for resurfacing.  

The goal is to maintain an average PCR of 80 out of 100, which the Public Works Department has achieved since the last city-wide PCR evaluation. The City also considers other necessary water and sewer infrastructure needs when assessing roadways. As the City implements its Integrated Wet Weather Improvement Plan (IWWIP) over the coming years, streets where water and sewer infrastructure are replaced will also see resurfacing and related repairs (curbs, aprons, ADA compliant intersections, etc.). You can read more about the IWWIP program on the City’s website at: In 2023, under the IWWIP umbrella, the City is replacing water mains on Andrews and Gladys Avenues – streets where the mains were installed well over a century ago in 1906.

This year, across the regular resurfacing projects, the IWWIP projects, and the NOACA/County-led project on Hillard, nearly seven miles of roadway will be under construction or repaved. The City is undertaking resurfacing of sections of Arthur, Esther, Halstead, Lakewood, Olivewood, Nicholson, Roycroft, Whippoorwill, and Wyandotte Avenues as well as the Clifton/West 117th Street intersection. The PCR ratings on these streets range between fair to poor, with Public Works also considering whether the existing watermain on a street is relatively new and if there is a history of breakage or compromise.   

The City of Lakewood is happy to have these improvements underway, and always pleased to keep our city roadways in quality condition. But we also realize these projects can be an inconvenience for drivers and especially affect the residents on the streets under construction. We appreciate your patience and understanding during these projects as we work to keep Lakewood roads safe and in good working condition.

Volume 19, Issue 16, Posted 8:38 AM, 08.17.2023