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Published: Wednesday, 4/13/2005

Archbold: North Defiance Street project to start in May

BY JANET ROMAKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

ARCHBOLD - A Toledo firm that has been awarded the contract for the North Defiance Street improvement project here is to start construction early next month.

Doug Zimmerman, project manager with B&J Concrete and Construction, said that work in downtown Archbold is to get under way in the first part of May. The firm's bid of $2,681,702 was 1.7 percent under the engineer's cost estimate of $2,727,400 for the project that includes reconstruction of North Defiance Street from the Norfolk Southern railroad crossing to Lutz Road.

The contract splits the project into three phases, and there will be road closures associated with the project, said Dennis Howell, Archbold's village administrator. He described B&J's 121-day project schedule as "very aggressive."

The firm will hire sub-contractors, including Gerken Paving Inc. of Napoleon. Gerken's work will involve StreetPrint, a process that will stamp brick-like patterns into the street and crosswalks, said Mr. Zimmerman.

In addition to the decorative brick-patterned streets, the improvement project will bring decorative lighting along portions of North Defiance in the heart of the downtown business district. Decorative poles for traffic signals will be installed, too, and utilities will be taken underground, Mr. Howell said. Sidewalks will be dressed up with a 2-foot-wide border.

Although there will be road closures, one of the two main intersections in the downtown will remain open at all times, Mr. Howell said. All but three of the businesses in the project area have rear entrances, and signs will be put up to direct traffic to those entrances, he said. Local traffic will be detoured onto Ditto and Vine streets.

B&J will meet weekly with the village to keep officials posted on the project, Mr. Zimmerman said, and the village will invite the downtown community to attend the sessions.

"Business people can come and talk about any concerns," Mr. Howell said.

To keep the public informed about the project and to help provide some exposure to businesses impacted by the construction project, the village is going to pay for a Web cam that will give viewers a chance to watch the progress via the village's Web site and the local cable channel.



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