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Published: Wednesday, 9/26/2007

Central at Cherry will close for 2 days of reconstruction

Cherry Street will be open through the Central intersection but lane closings will continue as the $6 million reconstruction project proceeds through its final stages. Cherry Street will be open through the Central intersection but lane closings will continue as the $6 million reconstruction project proceeds through its final stages.

When a city contractor shut down Toledo's Cherry Street-Central Avenue intersection last week, officials hoped the busy corner could be completely rebuilt in 69 hours.

But within hours, crews from the Shelly Co. of Findlay found subsurface decay extensive enough to reduce that goal to just rebuilding pavement directly along Cherry's alignment, leaving the turning curves and other adjoining parts of Central to be redone another time.

That time is now.

Beginning at 9 a.m. today, Central will be closed on the east side of Cherry for two days of reconstruction. Central will be similarly closed just west of Cherry for two workdays starting at 9 a.m. tomorrow. Traffic on Central will be detoured to Bancroft Street.

Cherry will be open through the Central intersection at all times, but it continues to have a series of lane closings between Central and Scott Street as its $6 million reconstruction, begun last year, proceeds through its final stages.

"The Shelly Co. has brought in a second crew to expedite construction," Julie Cousino, the project engineer for the city's engineering services division, said yesterday. "They are going to make every effort to get the project done this year."

As seems often to be the case with two or three city street projects, meeting that goal will depend on suitable weather during November, a time when Toledo's climate sometimes turns quite inhos-pitable to road construction.

While Ms. Cousino said on-going construction between Mettler Street and Bronson Place should soon be finished, and surface paving all the way from Central to Peck Street is scheduled to be done within three to four weeks.

The project's final phase between Peck and Scott won't be done until mid-November at the soonest.

Starting more than a year ago, Cherry has been rebuilt down to the dirt in phases, with traffic reduced to one lane each way while one side of the street was rebuilt at a time.

Paving of the final surface of the various sections has been held off so that it can all be done at once, allowing for uniform surface appearance and eliminating the need to paint any temporary lane stripes on finished roadway.

Scheduling of the final paving depends, in part, on when the city sewer division finishes repairing some sewer problems that were discovered during the course of rebuilding Cherry between Peck and Mettler, Ms. Cousino said.

Eleven "voids" - areas under the street where earth had collapsed, undetected - were discovered when the street was dug up, the engineer said.

The voids all were right in the middle of Cherry, so there was no way to address them immediately without disrupting the street project's progress severely.

Instead, Ms. Cousino said, Shelly crews rebuilt the street through the area, then sewer division crews moved in to excavate the areas immediately surrounding the voids to identify and repair the underlying problem.

After the sewer division fills its holes in the street, Shelly will pave the final surface over everything, she said.

Contact David Patch at: dpatch@theblade.com or 419-724-6094.

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