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Published: Monday, 8/19/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

Reconstruction moves ahead on Collingwood

With roadway ripped up, crews begin to replace it

BY DAVID PATCH
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Dan Burns of Oregon, left, keeps the geogrid taut as Kevin Yeager of Swanton, in the bulldozer, pushes evenly across northbound Collingwood Boulevard. Only one southbound lane is open. Dan Burns of Oregon, left, keeps the geogrid taut as Kevin Yeager of Swanton, in the bulldozer, pushes evenly across northbound Collingwood Boulevard. Only one southbound lane is open.
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Ten days after closing Collingwood Boulevard’s northbound lanes for rebuilding between Monroe Street and Ashland Avenue, Crestline Paving had dug the entire section south of Bancroft Street down to bare dirt.

And right behind the excavators were crews laying down the replacement roadbed, starting with a fabric base reinforced with plastic that will keep soil from underneath from working its way into the crushed stone and dirt that a procession of dump trucks delivered to the work site.

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“They don’t like to waste any time,” said Eric Tittle, the city’s project engineer for the $5.6 million reconstruction of Collingwood between Monroe and Central Avenue.

Not having any unexpected underground utility problems helped, Mr. Tittle said. And Chris James, Crestline’s president, said the work crews had enjoyed cooperative weather after street reconstruction began Aug. 7.

The early arrival of fall-like weather this week, Mr. James said, is a great thing “as long as winter doesn’t arrive early, too.”

Construction has closed Collingwood’s intersections with several minor side streets, as well as one of the entrances to the Executive Towers apartments, where Brandon Schillig of North Canton, Ohio, was moving in Friday in preparation for the fall semester’s start at nearby Mercy College.

“Hopefully, it gets better soon,” Mr. Schillig said, while noting that because he’ll be within walking distance of school he won’t have to drive much.

“It’s just noisy and the building shaking,” Eloise Norwood, owner of nearby Community Pharmacy Partners at Collingwood and Jefferson Avenue, said of the construction.

While “everybody complains” about the construction, they deal with it, Ms. Norwood said.

Except for the final surface, which is scheduled for paving next summer, Crestline expects to finish rebuilding Collingwood between Ashland and Monroe by late October. The rebuilt northbound lanes should open in mid-September, Mr. James said, after which work on the southbound side will start.

The section north of Ashland to Central will start as soon as spring weather allows it, with the piece in front of Scott High School saved for last so that it is done after school lets out for the summer, project officials said.

Working ahead of the street builders are crews replacing water and sewer mains under Collingwood; crews began that part of the Crestline contract in June.

The cast-iron water main, installed 140 years ago, was Toledo’s second oldest and prone to failures; its replacement is finished south of Machen Street, and overall, it’s 95 percent complete, Mr. James said.

Sewer work under way between Bancroft and Ashland should be finished by the middle of this week, after which street reconstruction will start there, he said.

While Collingwood normally has four lanes through the work area, the construction has reduced it to a single southbound lane. The lanes are only 10 feet wide, which is too narrow to maintain two-way traffic through the zone.

Having just one lane “gives us a nice buffer so the cars aren’t right on top of the drop-off” where rebuilding is under way, Mr. James said.

Several major cross streets will be closed for periods of several days in the coming weeks while their intersections with Collingwood are rebuilt. Woodruff Avenue will be done over the course of several weekdays, while Bancroft and Jefferson will be closed for entire weekends. Central will be similarly affected next year.

For now, crews are working five days per week — usually 10 hours or more — but Saturday work could be scheduled if weather delays become an issue, he said.

Once the street is rebuilt, the city plans to plant 89 trees through the work area to replace 72 mature trees that were cut down last winter and spring.

City officials said the controversial tree clearing was necessary because drainage work involved in rebuilding the street would have destroyed enough of their roots to kill them anyway. Critics said the clearing damaged the neighborhood’s historic character and could have been avoided by making Collingwood narrower.

Ms. Norwood, who besides owning a business on Collingwood also lives on the street, said the city should have done more, sooner, to engage neighborhood residents in the project’s planning.

“I’m very sad about all the trees being cut down,” she said, “but now that I see what they’re doing, I’m not sure the trees would have survived.”

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



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