City of North Ridgeville
Lear Nagle Road Widening Project
Proposed Roadway Improvements
The proposed improvements will widen Lear Nagle Road to three lanes from Lorain Road (SR 10) to Center Ridge Road (US 20). The improvements include new curbed pavement, sidewalks, traffic signals, storm sewers, and water mains. The intersections of Lear Nagle Road with Lorain Road/Cook Road and Chestnut Ridge Road will be widened to improve safety and reduce congestion.
Purpose and Need
The primary purpose and need of this project is to evaluate and address existing traffic congestion, traffic accidents and roadway conditions for the growing community of North Ridgeville and eastern Lorain County.
Traffic Generators
Based on ODOT certified traffic, Lorain Road experiences 23,580 vehicles per day (vpd) east of Lear Nagle Road and 18,170 vpd west of the Lear Nagle Road. Lear Nagle Road opening day traffic volume is 18,720 vpd south of Chestnut Ridge Road and 14,110 vpd north of Chestnut Ridge Road. Major traffic generators on Lear Nagle Road include the following:
  • Several gas stations, a full service Sheetz, McDonald’s, car wash, a builder’s supply business, a KinderCare center and an Ohio Sports complex, taking up most of the previously undeveloped land, are located at the intersection with Lorain Road. 
  • A retail complex is proposed on the east side of Lear Nagle Road, between the IR-480 overpass and Chestnut Ridge Road. A curbed concrete road to the proposed development, complete with storm sewers, was constructed off Lear Nagle Road; however, no structures were built. There are currently signs advertising the property as available for development. It is anticipated that this site will eventually contain a major commercial development. 
  • Just north of the intersection with Chestnut Ridge Road, on the east side, is a VFW Post with two drives (ingress and egress) onto Lear Nagle Road. 
  • About a quarter of a mile north of Chestnut Ridge Road, on the west side, is the Pine Ridge Trailer Park. 
  • At or near the Center Ridge Road intersection is the Ohio Edison (First Energy) Mill substation, several small businesses, a strip shopping center and a standalone Walgreens drugstore. The north intersection approach roadway has recently been reconstructed to provide a geometrically superior intersection than the previous offset intersection design. 
  • A proposed interchange with I-90 approximately 5 miles north of the project on Lear Nagle Road, providing a direct connection from I-90 to I-480 and the Ohio Turnpike. 
The north-western portion of North Ridgeville, within about 1.5 miles of the proposed project, has a total household population of 12,685 and a total number of jobs of 2,202 in 2005, according to NOACA projections (Traffic Analysis Zones 868, 869 and 870). This area is projected to grow to a household population of 13,735 in 2025 and the number of jobs will increase to 2,789, also according to NOACA (NOACA Technical Memorandum Socio-Economic Forecast: 2000-2030 dated August 2005). Population and job growth, the aforementioned potential retail development complex and more commercial development similar to that now occurring at the Center Ridge Road intersection will result in the traffic demand on this important collector to only continue to increase. Various improvements to accommodate the increasing volumes of traffic and to increase safety on the facility should be considered for design and construction.
It was observed that the portion of Lear Nagle Road from the Chestnut Ridge Road intersection to Lorain Road carries significant volumes of automobile and truck traffic, more than the section between Chestnut Ridge Road and Center Ridge Road. This is particularly evident in the AM and PM peak hours. The high volumes are assumed to consist primarily of local traffic coming from the north-eastern portion of the City of North Ridgeville and from north-western Cuyahoga County in order to access the Ohio Turnpike and IR- 480 interchanges with Lorain Road. During the AM peak there is a backup of traffic going south on Lear Nagle Road from the Lorain Road intersection to Chestnut Ridge Road. This results in traffic being backed up on Lear Nagle Road north of the intersection. An upgrading of the Chestnut Ridge Road intersection and the section of Lear Nagle Road between Chestnut Ridge Road and Lorain Road to accommodate current and future traffic is necessary. The existing two lane section between Chestnut Ridge Road and Center Ridge Road should be improved by adding a center two way left turn lane.
Lane Widths
The width of Lear Nagle Road in its two-lane sections was checked in several locations to confirm the lane widths. A variation in width from 21 feet - 0 inches maximum to 18 feet – 7 inches minimum (edge line to edge line) was noted, which raises obvious safety issues as traffic volumes continue to increase.
The intersecting, two-lane Chestnut Ridge Road is approximately 30 feet – 0 inches wide. There are side road ditches in many locations and the topography is generally flat. The right-of-way width is generally 60 feet, except in the vicinity of the former Top’s shopping center near the Center Ridge Road intersection, where there is an additional 7 feet on the west side. The posted speed limit is 35 mph. Between Lorain Road and Chestnut Ridge Road, six residential drives and two commercial drives were observed on the west side of the road and one commercial drive observed on the east side. Between Chestnut Ridge Road and Center Ridge Road, 24 residential drives and three commercial drives were observed on the west side of the road and 28 residential drives and seven commercial drives were observed on the east side.
There are sidewalks in some areas, but sidewalks are not continuous throughout the entire length of this section of roadway.
The IR-480 Grade Separation Bridge crosses over Lear Nagle Road about a quarter of a mile north of the Lorain Road intersection. The horizontal opening, across Lear Nagle Road, between the bridge piers ranges between 64 feet – 5 inches and 65 feet – 5 inches. This will enable substantial widening of the roadway with additional travel lanes.
In summary, the purpose of the transportation improvement is to evaluate and address existing traffic congestion, traffic accidents and roadway conditions for the growing community of North Ridgeville and eastern Lorain County based on the existing crash data, proposed traffic predictions and substandard lane widths.
Environmental Considerations
Various environmental studies have been conducted for the project. These studies were conducted with traffic volumes that were significantly higher than the current certified traffic volumes. As a result, the actual environmental impacts will most likely be less than indicated in the studies. Below is a summary of these studies.
Ecological Resources (including wetlands, streams, aquatic and terrestrial habitats, and threatened and endangered species):
Based on the Ecological Survey Report completed for the project study area, the following ecological resources were identified:
  • The proposed roadway improvements will result in impacts to approximately 76’ of French Creek, 313’ of Nagle Ditch and 1,010’ unnamed tributaries to Nagle Ditch.
  • A detention basin is located near Lear Nagle Road, near the southern end of the project. No direct adverse impact to the detention basin will result from the proposed project activities. The existing outlet structure will be replaced to tie into the new storm sewer system along Lear Nagle Road. 
  • Wetland delineation was conducted within the project study area. A total of eight wetlands exist within the project study area referenced Wetland A through Wetland H. Seven (7) of these wetlands are located within the project construction limits (Wetland B through Wetland H). Wetlands A, C and D were identified as Ohio Rapid Assessment Method (ORAM) Category 1, isolated wetlands. Wetlands B, E, F, G and H were identified as ORAM Modified Category 2, nonisolated wetlands. The project proposed to impact approximately 0.085 acres of modified Category 2 jurisdictional wetlands (Wetlands B, E, F, G and H) and 0.010 acres of Category 1 isolated wetlands (Wetlands C and D). All impacts are due to the pavement widening of Lear Nagle Road. Based on the proximity of the wetlands to the existing roadway facilities, wetland impacts are unavoidable. Therefore, design efforts were considered that minimized proposed impacts by the project yet provide an acceptable project. To shift the alignment away from Wetland B would cause impacts to the un-impacted Wetland A. Wetlands C and D are located in close vicinity to each other on opposite sides of the road. Shifting the alignment to reduce impacts to one would increase impacts to the other. Shifting the alignment away from Wetland E would cause residential impacts and would require realignment of the intersection with Chestnut Ridge Road. Wetlands F, G and H are located near the IR-480 overpass. Shifting the alignment in this location to avoid the wetlands would require realignment and replacement of the IR-480 overpass. 
  • The survey concluded that no unique or high quality habitats are present within the project study area. The project study area is disturbed with limited quality wetlands and marginal forest riparian habitats within the proposed project limits. The project will not impact any high quality terrestrial habitat. 
  • This project is located within the known range of the Federally-listed endangered Indiana bat (Myotis Sodalis) and Piping plover (Charadrius melodus, the Federal candidate Eastern Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) and the Federal species of concern Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). Based on the project type, location, and on-site habitat, none of these species, except the Indiana bat, would be expected within the project study area, and no impacts to these species are expected by the project. 
  • According to available Federal Emergency Management Agency Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) Community Panel 39093C 0163 D, effective August 19, 2008, the project study area is located within the designated 100-year flood plain of Robinson Ditch and Mills Creek. The project will be constructed to maintain current flood elevations.
Cultural Resources (including historic sites, archaeological sites, and historic architecture):
  • A Cultural Resource Photo Log was prepared and a determination of no historic properties affected was made by ODOT. No further coordination is warranted. 
    Section 4(f)/6(f) Resources - including Parks and Other Recreational Land, Natural & Wildlife Areas & Waterfowl Refuges and Cultural Resource Areas.
    • No Section 4(f)/6(f) resources exist in the project study area.
    Hazardous Materials/Wastes (sites with potential hazardous material concerns):
    • An Environmental Site Assessment Screening, conducted in accordance with ODOT Office of Environmental Services guidance, identified numerous sites of concern within the project study area. Six (6) sites were recommended for additional investigation in the form of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment: Hurricane Laser Wash (32500 Lorain Road), BP Oil & Exploration Facility #22338 (32393 and 32400 Lorain Road), Sheetz Store (32390 Lorain Road), Armaro Properties (Pat Keating Co.) (6295 Lear Nagle Road), Patriot Automotive Services (6287 Lear Nagle Road), and Metal Marker Company (6225 Lear Nagle Road).
    Air Quality: 
    • Based on FHWA review of the project and through consultation with USEPA and Ohio EPA, FHWA has found the project is not of air quality concern and is exempt from further hot-spot analysis per 40 CFR 93.116(a).
    Noise (analysis of traffic noise and feasibility of noise abatement):
    • A preliminary noise analysis was performed. No further noise studies are warranted for this project unless the project scope changes and new noise sensitive areas are impacted.
    Social and Economic/Community Impacts (including businesses, residences, emergency services, travel patterns, schools, recreational activities, etc.):
    • This project complies with the development patterns in the area and will not change the cohesion of the neighborhoods in the project area and the community as a whole. The project will provide a safer facility for vehicular traffic. The amount of right-of-way required for the project should not have a substantial impact to local tax base or property values. 
    • The project does not provide new access to undeveloped areas to promote economic development. The project will not result in any reasonably foreseeable secondary or cumulative impacts. 
    • The proposed project will not substantially alter access to any public service or facility. Minor, short term impacts to local police, fire, emergency services, public transportation services, educational facilities and religious institutions will occur during construction. No health facilities or pedestrian and bicycle facilities are located within the project area. 
    • This project will not relocate any individuals, households or local businesses.
    Maintenance of Traffic 
    • Lear Nagle Road will be constructed in two main phases. One lane will be maintained in each direction. 
    • Lorain Road will be constructed in two main phases. Two lanes are anticipated to be maintained in each direction. 
    • Chestnut Ridge Road will be constructed with a detour. 
    • Access will be maintained to all residences and to all commercial properties for customers, deliveries, etc. For commercial properties with multiple drive entrances, at least one drive entrance will be accessible at all times during project construction.
    Right of Way Acquisition
    To accommodate the roadway widening and utility relocations, the purchase of additional permanent right of way, construction easements and/or temporary right of way will be required. Preliminary estimates on Right of Way indicate that 0.5 acres of permanent Right of Way and 2.6 acres of Temporary Right of Way and/or Permanent Easements will be required.
    Because federal funds are being utilized for this project, the R/W acquisition process must meet ODOT requirements. ODOT operates under the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 and amendments of 1987. The main objective of this Act is to ensure that every effort is made to acquire the needed right of way in a fair and equitable manner. This Act provides advice and financial assistance to persons whose residence, business, farm, and/or non-profit organization may be acquired as part of a project. Operated in accordance with Chapter 163 of the Ohio Revised Code and Public Laws 91-646and 100-17, the Relocation Assistance Program (RAP) ensures fair and equitable treatment of each individual, family, business, farm, and non-profit organization. Basic policies have been established in this effort by the Federal Highway Administration and ODOT.
    • All property must be appraised before acquisition is started. This is done by qualified appraisers who are familiar with real estate values in the area. 
    • Upon determination of the fair market value, a City Real Estate representative will contact the owner for an appointment. At this time, the representative will explain a project to the owner and the effect of a project on the property, and will present the offer based on the appraisal, both orally and in writing.
    It is hoped that any needed right of way would be acquired through successful negotiations. However, if an agreement cannot be reached, property owners have recourse through the local judicial system where compensation will be determined by a jury, if necessary.
    This is a basic overview of the right of way procedures. It is the intent of the City and County that every effort will be made to obtain a mutual agreement with the owner and to see that the owner is justly compensated for the property. This will be accomplished by consistent and fair treatment of all owners.
    Recommendation Costs
    The estimated total construction cost for the recommendations is $10.8 million, including an estimated cost of potential additional right of way of $1 million. Federal, state and local funds will be used to complete the recommended improvements.
    © 2019. City of North Ridgeville – 7307 Avon Belden Road, North Ridgeville, OH 44039 – 440.353.0819