Tod Boose of Smith Paving Inc. of Norwalk, Ohio, cuts new concrete on U.S. 20 on Woodville's west side. On Monday, traffic on U.S. 20 will be shifted over to the newly built north half of the roadway within the village limits so work may proceed on the existing roadway.
WOODVILLE, Ohio - There's still more than a year's work to go to finish widening U.S. 20 west of Woodville to near Pemberville Road in Troy Township, but construction at the project's Woodville end is entering the homestretch.
"We continue to look to the end of August to have the roadway in that area completed for the new school year," said Theresa Pollick, a spokesman at the Ohio Department of Transportation's district office in Bowling Green.
That's welcome news to Jane Garling, superintendent of the Woodmore school district. She is anxious to see all major construction finished near Woodville Elementary School, even if there are still a few concrete barriers in the area for a while afterward.
"It'll be wonderful when it's finished," Mrs. Garling said. "They [ODOT] have been very cooperative with us.•.•.•. They've been doing as well as I think they can with a project that complex."
Starting Monday, U.S. 20 traffic will be shifted over to the newly built north half of the roadway within the village limits for work on the existing roadway. This phase of work will require closing State Rt. 105 at its western junction with U.S. 20.
Route 105 will reopen in September, the transportation department said. Until then, traffic will be detoured via State Rt. 582 and U.S. 23.
Also on Monday, Emch Road will close at U.S. 20 for two days of pavement reconstruction. After that, Fostoria Road will close on the north side of U.S. 20 for reconstruction that will continue into October.
Overall, Ms. Pollick said, Shelly Co. of Thornville, Ohio, has the $20.5 million U.S. 20 widening project about 40 percent complete and 60 days ahead of schedule, despite rainy weather this spring.
"It has been a challenge to juggle work around the rain showers, but the contractor has done a tremendous job thus far, as the critical work in Woodville has only lost about one week to weather this year," the ODOT spokesman said.
Officials expect the new westbound lanes to be "substantially completed" by the end of this year, with only the surface layer of pavement to be added at the project's conclusion next year. Traffic will be shifted onto those new lanes so the existing two-lane roadway, which will become the eastbound lanes, can be rebuilt.
The widened U.S. 20 west of Woodville will have a center left-turn lane, not a median divider like the existing four-lane highway east of Woodville.
The 5 1/4-mile project is scheduled for completion by November, 2009. When it's finished, U.S. 20 will have at least four lanes from State Rt. 420 all the way to Fremont. The junction of U.S. 20 and State Rt. 420, which connects with I-280, was rebuilt into an interchange in an ODOT project that was completed last year.
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