BROOK PARK, Ohio — Brookpark Road is about to get a facelift. A $4 million makeover to be exact. With a large-scale repaving just around the bend, local officials wanted to use the project as a springboard for future development.
“Brookpark Road is an important East-West corridor,” Patrick Hewitt of the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission said. “We know there's a lot of traffic. There’s a lot of different land uses that run the length of the corridor.”
Creating a smoother ride is only half the battle. Currently, Brookpark Road sees between 14,000 and 25,000 cars every day.
Officials want to maximize that traffic and create a hub of industrial and commercial activity. The current plans for repaving would smooth a 5-mile stretch of road from West 130th to the interchange with I-480 in Brooklyn Heights.
At the same time, legislators from Parma, Brooklyn and the Old Brooklyn neighborhood collaborated to secure a $120,000 grant to perform a corridor study along the busy road. The study would also look for ways to improve traffic flow, find more efficient traffic patterns and seek to lure economic development opportunities to the corridor.
“Can we add trees, plantings that help not only make it more attractive but make it function better from a stormwater management perspective,” Hewitt said.
Stormwater management is a sticky subject for many who live along Brookpark. Prone to severe flooding during heavy rains, the survey would also look for solutions to alleviate flooding that has plagued the road for years.
“This is also an opportunity to improve some environmental justice that is challenged on Brookpark Road,” Old Brooklyn Community Development CEO Jeff Verespej said. “That’s unfair to those businesses, those residents. It’s not good for Big Creek which runs right through the road.”
The repaving project will begin sometime in 2021 and should last roughly 180 days. Meanwhile, the corridor study will begin this fall and run for the next 18-months.