Toledo's first big new road construction project of the season gets under way on I-75 south of downtown this week, and although it will be a problem mostly for nighttime drivers, there will be a few notable exceptions.
Shelly Co. of Findlay is to distributing signs and orange barrels through the work zone Monday and start work at 6 p.m. Tuesday on repairing and repaving about seven miles of the freeway between the Maumee River and State Rt. 199 in Perrysburg.
The $8.1 million project is scheduled to take about six months.
It's one of several major paving projects the Ohio Department of Transportation and city of Toledo have in the works this year in addition to the ongoing I-475 reconstruction in West Toledo and the I-475/U.S. 23 Maumee River bridge work that resumed last month after starting last summer.
Others include U.S. 23 between Central Avenue and the Ohio-Michigan border, which includes a short stretch of I-475, Monroe Street between Crary Drive and Central in West Toledo, and Woodville Road between the Anthony Wayne Bridge and the Toledo-Oregon border. The Woodville project may also include trafficsignal changes.
The I-75 project follows by eight years a "microsurfacing" job on the same stretch of freeway and by 13 to 14 years a more comprehensive repaving that included rebuilding the section, except for bridges, between State Rt. 199 and Glenwood Road in Rossford.
Mike Gramza, the transportation department's district construction engineer, said the work done south of Glenwood in 1998 and 1999 had a 20-year design life overall, but the surface layer needs periodic maintenance. The top two inches will be milled off and replaced, he said.
"Today's surface should get you 12 years with the traffic we have," Mr. Gramza said, estimating that the "microsurfacing" from 2004 added about four years to the surface pavement's life.
North of Glenwood, the original concrete pavement from the 1960s remains beneath the asphalt surface that has been laid over it several times since, most recently in 1999.
"It's well past its design life, but we anticipate getting another 10 years -- or even 12 -- out of it," Mr. Gramza said.
The four inches or so of asphalt on top of the old concrete will be ground off and replaced; the next time around, he said, the whole roadway between Glenwood and the Maumee will need rebuilding.
Concrete joint repairs, which will be first on the task list when construction begins Tuesday evening, and the paving that follows will require lane closings between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday nights, with double-lane closings likely after 8 p.m. on work nights.
In addition, slope repairs just south of Miami Street will close the southbound right lane between Miami and Wales Road for up to 90 days.
Bridge-deck sealing at the bridges over the CSX railroad and Glenwood Road, between Wales and Buck roads, is likely to be the biggest traffic problem.
It will close two of three lanes on I-75 for just a weekend or two, but whenever that work occurs, avoiding the freeway will be a good idea.
Theresa Pollick, the transportation department's spokesman in Bowling Green, said last week that it's not known if the bridge work will wait until after the I-475/U.S. 23 project at the Maumee River is done in July.
The I-475 construction, which began last fall, resumed for the season early last month.
Mr. Gramza said Miller Brothers Construction, the I-475 bridge contractor, was skeptical about restarting that project so early in the year, but favorable weather helped get it going as planned.
The mild winter, however, didn't do much to help crews on the I-475 reconstruction in West Toledo make up for months' worth of delays that the transportation department blamed on Toledo's record rainfall last year. The rain exacerbated soil problems at the work site. "We've hit about every kind of soils you can imagine trying to build this project," Mr. Gramza said. "We're doing the best we can to finish in 2013."
The I-475 bridge work requires closing entrances from U.S. 24. Officials expect those ramps to reopen in July -- well before the completion, now scheduled for September, of the new U.S. 24 expressway between Waterville and Napoleon.
Construction started last week at the east end of the Napoleon bypass to connect the new highway. But because most of the U.S. 24 project involves new roadway, its main traffic impact has been detours on roads that cross its route.
Toledo's Monroe Street resurfacing -- for which Gerken Paving of Napoleon holds a $2,704,700 contract -- is expected to start in June, and the $1,706,000 project on Woodville is scheduled for a late May start.
Those two projects are the major ones on 67 lane-miles of streets the city plans to repave this year.
That also includes finishing paving under way on Sylvania Avenue west of Lewis Avenue, which began last fall after a sewer project was finished.
Robin Whitney, Toledo's commissioner of engineering services, acknowledged that the Monroe Street work will chew up an alternative route for motorists avoiding the I-475 reconstruction zone but said the timing of grant funds for the project dictated its schedule.
The city and the transportation department, Ms. Whitney and Mr. Gramza noted, have put off until next year a reconstruction project on Secor Road between Central and Monroe so that traffic forced to use Secor to enter eastbound I-475 because of ramps closed by the freeway project won't have to fight through yet another work zone.
The closed Douglas Road entrance and new ProMedica Parkway entrance -- the latter replacing a ramp from Kelly Avenue -- are expected to open late this year.
This year's third I-475 work zone, between Central and the U.S. 23 split, is scheduled to start in June. The $4,687,000 project will be mostly nighttime resurfacing, but bridge work at the I-475/U.S. 23 junction will close one of two lanes on northbound U.S. 23 for up to 90 days, Mr. Gramza said.
Elsewhere in the region, the transportation department expects to spend about $6.7 million to build a State Rt. 18 bypass around the west side of North Baltimore so trucks going to or from the CSX freight-transfer terminal west of town won't go through the village. Bid opening for that project is scheduled for Thursday, with ground-breaking expected in mid-May and completion by year's end.
State contractors also have begun work on the Wales Road grade separation project in Northwood, where three railroad crossings will be replaced by two bridges over the tracks. That project is scheduled to end next year.
The Monroe County Road Commission expects to replace the Lavoy Road bridge over Indian Creek, a $1,131,200 project, this year. After years of weight restrictions, the county closed the bridge just east of Telegraph Road two years ago because of its advanced decay.
The Michigan Department of Transportation plans to resurface and widen 1.3 miles of Telegraph (U.S. 24) between Stewart and LaSalle roads north of Monroe, overhaul several overpasses along U.S. 23 near Milan, and replace the U.S. 223 bridge over the River Raisin in Palmyra.
On the Ohio Turnpike, meanwhile, resurfacing of a two-mile section just west of the I-280 interchange in Wood County is planned this year, as are repairs to 14 bridges in Williams County, and completion of rebuilding a 5.3-mile section in eastern Sandusky County.
Contact David Patch at: email@example.com or 419-724-6094.