Rt. 254 designation could extend into Amherst

By Laurie Hamame - lhamame@aimmediamidwest.com

What’s in a name? State cash, in the case of Rt. 254.

Officials said they’re willing to explore the idea of extending the state route from Rt. 57 in Sheffield Township west all the way to Rt. 58 in Amherst.

The road goes by several names along its path: Cooper Foster Park Road, Detroit Road, and North Ridge. But the entire stretch isn’t designated a state road.

Robert Wickens, who headed the Lorain County Transit board in the 1970s and pioneered fixed bus routes here, said he’s been approached by residents and businesses about the Rt. 254 issue. Though he hasn’t been involved with transit for a long time, he made the pitch July 12 to the county commissioners.

“I’ve been approached by visitors when they came out through 254 and it ends at 57. They weren’t quite sure what to do,” he said. “I’m asking you to pass a resolution to extend the routing number on that highway… into the heart of our county and our business area.”

Why does the name matter?

Lengthening the state route — even in name — could save the county a lot of money, Wickens argued. If the state takes over maintenance, Lorain County will spend less.

For example, Amherst and Lorain have been planning a huge paving and lane-widening effort in front of Giant Eagle, Planet Fitness, and nearby plaza retailers to take place in 2018-2019. The Ohio Department of Transportation could be called upon to cover more of the cost.

How true that may prove is up for debate.

Commissioner Ted Kalo said his concern has to do with addresses. The state could decide to renumber all the homes and businesses along the route.

“I don’t believe by putting the route number on that stretch of road, the businesses and residences would need to change their addresses,” Wicken said. Addresses didn’t change when Detroit Road in Rocky River was designated as Rt. 254, he said.

Amherst mayor Mark Costilow said he has not been approached for input on extending Rt. 254, but hopes he would be involved should the effort move forward.

Laurie Hamame can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @HamameNews on Twitter.

By Laurie Hamame