Safety Committee Supports Railroad Bridge Project
Members of the Solon safety committee voiced their approval for the roughly $1 million project to re-face the old railroad bridge over SOM Center Road and install electronic message boards.
Solon safety committee members voiced their support Wednesday for a $1 million project to beautify the old railroad bridge over SOM Center Road.
The committee unanimously passed the project onto the finance committee for its consideration.
The plan is to consider the project during budget discussions for next year, and perhaps complete it in phases, with fixes to the retaining wall first, then improvements to the bridge and finally installation of electronic message boards, to replace the signs community groups often hang on the bridge.
The project has been under discussion for some time, and is the final part of the city's master plan for the central part of town. The facade improvement are designed to make the bridge and the retaining walls match the materials and aesthetics of the nearby Solon Center for the Arts, fire station and Veterans Park.
Mayor Susan Drucker said the plan is to reface the retaining walls beneath the bridge and create a sort-of false facade that would improve the look of the bridge but not interfere with the ability to maintain or even use the railroad.
Drucker brought cost estimates to the committee for them to think over, but the committee immediately said they supported the project.
Committee members said that the fact that it's the final piece of the master plan puzzle and major improvements at the city's nearby shopping center means the time is perfect to undertake this project.
"To me, it's wonderful," said Vice Mayor Ed Kraus. "The whole idea is to beautify this area. The bridge would certainly tie in everything."
While Councilman Bill Russo said the price is high, the project is worth it.
"It is something that needs to be done if we want to do our part to beautify the center of town," Russo said.
Said Councilman Rick Bell: "We’ve done a lot of work in that area, and I believe this ties all of this in."