Thursday, Jun 21, 2018
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City to fix 28 miles of bumps this year

A troublesome curve on Miami Street soon will be history, as will its rough ride. But motorists will have to deal with a detour first to enjoy that benefit.

Rehabilitating and realigning Miami is among the bigger projects on the city of Toledo's annual street repair and resurfacing program, which this year is scheduled to produce just over 28 miles of repaved streets by year's end.

Mayor Jack Ford and several top administrators announced the resurfacing program during a news conference along Miami at the Anthony Wayne Bridge yesterday. Most major projects will start within 30 to 45 days, Mayor Ford said, and be finished sometime in November.

Miami will be under construction between Fassett and Oak streets. One-way traffic will be maintained for local access during the work, but traffic in the other direction will be detoured. While the Miami detour route and direction and the start date for construction all remain to be determined, David Moebius, the city's commissioner of engineering services, said work should start fairly soon.

“It's going to be one of the first out of the chutes this year,” Mr. Moebius said.

Besides having some of Toledo's roughest pavement, Miami is cursed by a short but sharp S curve near Navarre Avenue where railroad tracks once crossed the street. Trucks must slow to a crawl through the curve, and sometimes must stop to wait for oncoming traffic because there is no room for trucks to pass each other.

The abandoned tracks were removed during the late 1990s, and now the curves required to cross them will vanish.

Other major projects include resurfacing Fearing Boulevard from Airport Highway to Buckingham Street, and Detroit Avenue from Fearing/Buckingham to Woodruff Avenue; Reynolds Road from Airport to the Norfolk Southern railroad overpass near Angola Road; Alexis Road between Raintree Parkway and Suder Avenue, and Byrne Road between Airport and Glendale Avenue.

At 4.53 miles, the Detroit/Fearing project will contribute the most to the program's mileage, though, like other major streets, the four-lane sections will count double toward the goal.

The Byrne Road resurfacing is the only project on the list expected to continue into next year. Mr. Moebius said it will start sometime in the fall and be completed in spring 2004.

The $14.2 million program includes $7.8 million in state and federal grants and loans, and $6.4 million in city Capital Improvement Program funds.

It emphasizes “major repairs and serious need,” Mayor Ford said, contrasting that objective with the mileage-based goals emphasized by his mayoral predecessor, Carty Finkbeiner. The Finkbeiner administration resurfaced more than 40 miles annually for three straight years during the late 1990s, before trimming the program for budgetary reasons.

Even 40 miles a year would leave the city playing catch-up with pavement maintenance, however. With about 1,100 center-line miles of street, the city would need to repave 55 miles a year to keep up with the 20-year life cycle that engineers generally accept for residential-street pavements - and that doesn't consider the 10-year lifespan for blacktop on major streets or the additional lane mileage that the wider streets entail.

“Obviously, we should be doing more, and I'd like to do more,” Mr. Moebius said. “And the longer you wait, the worse pavement conditions get. That's why we're working hard to leverage outside dollars.”

Selecting the streets to be resurfaced is a difficult task, Mr. Moebius said, and those chosen are not always those that have the roughest ride.

“We try to go where we get the biggest bang for our bucks - where a little work now can prevent a major rebuild in the future,” he said.

The four biggest projects account for more than half of the resurfacing program's total dollar value. Miami is expected to cost $3.15 million; Byrne, $2.96 million; Detroit/Fearing $2.62 million, and Alexis $2.07 million. The Alexis resurfacing is scheduled to be done entirely at night.

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