SHAKER HEIGHTS-- A six-way intersection known for its congestion and confusion is getting a revamp, but the upcoming roadwork is just a glimpse of what the city of Shaker Heights is planning for the Van Aken District.
In early 2014, you'll start to see changes to the Warrensville Center Rd./Chagrin Blvd. intersection.
"Change is definitely needed for this intersection," said Spencer Bingham, a Shaker Heights resident.
On Monday, drivers and walkers told Fox 8 the intersection tends to be busy, even dangerous.
"I've actually seen quite a few accidents just sitting at Starbucks, just because of the
confusion of the traffic," said Reginald Rush, who works nearby.
City leaders tell Fox 8 at least 45,000 vehicles go through the intersection every day. Many of those drivers get stuck at the traffic lights, for at least three minutes at a time.
"These lights are just so long. Waiting for them to change, it's kind of chaotic," Bingham said.
Shaker Heights Mayor, Earl Leiken, agrees. For years city leaders have been working to make changes to the city's most dangerous intersection.
"We're going to try to transform this whole area into something that is more in keeping with the original design for Shaker Heights," said Mayor Leiken.
Over the next two years, the mayor said the intersection will go from a six-way to a four-way, so the roadwork will be a noticeable change.
"It's going to allow traffic to move in that area more easily and more quickly," said Mayor Leiken.
However, roadwork is only phase one of the project. The city has secured $18.5 million in state, federal, and county grants, and that means the intersection will offer more than simply an easy drive.
We're talking about added retail, restaurants, office space, and housing potentially coming to the Van Aken District.
"We want something that's unique and distinctive that really sets itself apart," the mayor said.
Mayor Leiken believes the development of the intersection will make the city of Shaker Heights even more attractive.
The city is currently in the bidding process for a contractor to run the project.