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Rocky River Drive repairs get off to rough start for some West Park drivers

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Posted at 5:38 PM, Nov 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-22 19:34:33-05

CLEVELAND — A repair project to a busy stretch of roadway on Cleveland’s west side began Monday and promptly created confusion for some drivers. Rocky River Drive between Munn Road and Lorain Avenue in Cleveland’s West Park and Kamms Corner neighborhoods will remain a one-way road for the first phase of the project, causing southbound traffic to take a detour.

Originally slated to begin in early November, the project’s impact on traffic underwent a change late last week after city officials and contractors decided that maintaining two-way traffic on Rocky River Drive would not be possible. Then, last Wednesday, the phasing of the project was also changed to include lane restrictions on Rocky River Drive between Munn and McKinley Avenue once the first phase of the project is complete.

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A ‘road closed’ sign on Rocky River Drive near McKinley was routinely bypassed by dozens of drivers on Monday because the sign prevented them from getting to the actual detour — more than four blocks away. The detour onto Munn Road, which is at the end of a winding portion of Rocky River Drive, caught some northbound drivers by surprise who either had to make ill-advised u-turns or last-second left turns onto Munn.

West Park resident Janet Lehane said the project and lane restrictions will be part of her daily life for the foreseeable future.

“It’s important. I can’t go anywhere without going right or left on Rocky River Drive,” Lehane said. “We have to turn north to get to Munn to come back to go south. It’s a first-world problem, I guess.”

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The lack of adequate signage was the source of frustration for many drivers.

“It’s for sure a free-for-all. There is no direction going on,” said Susie Dubie. “I’d like for it to be completed soon especially going into the holiday and winter season. There are a lot of elderly in this area. My mother lives down the street. She doesn’t even want to come down this way.”

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Construction crews have been tasked with repairing the concrete road surface, which has buckled, cracked and separated in multiple locations along Rocky River Drive. Although crews will be using cold-curing concrete, weather may force the project to continue into Spring 2022.