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Lakewood eyeing OPWC funds for water main improvements throughout city

LAKEWOOD, Ohio — This summer Lakewood was awarded $750,000 in Water Main Replacement Project funds from the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC).

Now the city is planning to begin work next spring on Lauderdale Avenue (between Detroit and Madison avenues), Leedale Avenue (between Lake Avenue and Edgewater Boulevard) and Elbur Avenue (Between Athens Avenue and Lakewood Heights Boulevard).

“This is all part of our yearly OPWC grant application for water main improvements,” Lakewood City Engineer Mark K. Papke said. “These projects are currently in design. They’ll be going out to bid in the first quarter 2021, start in May and wrap up around November.”

The project cost is $4,716,850. In addition to the grant, the OPWC is also providing a zero-percent 20-year loan for $866,850. That means the city’s total contribution is nearly $4 million.

“These water mains were installed in the early 1900s,” Papke said. “Most of them are six-inch in diameter and cast iron. They get tuberculated — the metal grows on the inside of the pipe and reduces the diameter, which affects water flow.

“Also a lot of these have lead service connections that are being replaced with copper. So we upsized the water main to eight-inch diameter and put in six-inch fire hydrants rather than the existing four-inch. It improves the flow.”

Lakewood is also applying for the next round of OPWC funds to cover a sewer improvement project planned for portions of Andrews Avenue (Detroit Avenue to Clifton Boulevard) and Gladys Avenue (Detroit Avenue to Clifton Boulevard).

“Length-wise, the project is similar to the 2021 project, but we’re also including some necessary sewer improvements,” Papke said. “Some areas require heavier sewer upgrades than other ones.”

The city engineer said Lakewood not only entered into the agreement in July, but is currently at 75 percent of

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