West Riverview progress

A major road providing access between Bellevue's main street and Ohio River Boulevard could re-open to traffic by mid-September.

West Riverview Avenue was closed some four years ago after an adjacent retaining wall collapsed, threatening the integrity of the street itself. The price tag for repair of the wall was estimated at about $250,000 at the time, and nearly double that in recent months. Bellevue applied for several grants to fund the project, but was unable to secure the needed monies. The borough council began setting aside capital improvement funds, and this year refinanced a bond issue that provided about $120,000 in savings that could be directed to the project.

The repair of West Riverview was helped immensely by bids from contractors coming in much lower than expected. The low bid, from Braymon Construction, came in at $279,550. Another, lower bid, was submitted, for $245,898, but the borough engineer said that the contractor did not include a price for items that were part of the advertised specifications, and that if the company had met the specifications, its bid would total more than $330,000.

Council took the final step towards getting work started at Tuesday's pre-council meeting, approving a proposal from HRG Engineering, which serves as the borough's engineer, to oversee the construction at an estimated cost of just over $14,000. Engineer Ben Gilberti said that the cost could be higher or lower depending on how often an engineer is needed to be on-site.

Gilberti said that work is expected to begin the first week of August, and should be completed by Labor Day or the second week of September, depending on the weather.

Lower than expected bids also could result in Bellevue adding two more streets to its 2017 paving program. The engineer told council that it would cost about $17,000 to repair Hawley Avenue from Lincoln to Teece avenues, and about $18,000 to pave North Jackson Avenue from Lincoln to Shade. Council is expected to decide whether to expand the project later this month.

Also in street-related matters, council will introduce the ordinance changing a portion of North Avenue to one-way due to concerns about pedestrians - especially students walking to Northgate High School - walking along the street while vehicles are parked on both sides, and a steep hill creates a blindspot for motorists.

Finally, council received a request from Lutheran Service Society to allow two-way traffic on a portion of North Howard Avenue so that vehicles could more easily access a parking lot behind the building located at Lincoln and North Howard avenues. Mayor Paul Cusick said that the change could impact some street parking in the area.