A Canton, Ohio firm has been awarded a $23.4 million contract for the McCord Road Underpass project in Holland.
Beaver Excavating Co. submitted the lowest of five bids to the Ohio Department of Transportation for the project to replace McCord's at-grade crossing of a busy Norfolk Southern railroad line with an underpass.
The contract also includes reinforcing a 66-inch sewer main near McCord that runs through the work area.
"We've reached a milestone," Todd Audet, ODOT's district deputy director in Bowling Green, said in a statement announcing the award. "The staff of ODOT, the Lucas County Engineer's Office, TMACOG [Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments], and local agencies have dedicated so much effort and hard work to keep this project moving forward."
Construction is expected to start late next month and be finished by November, 2016. Most of this year's work is expected to involve construction of a shoo-fly bypass for the railroad tracks and a two-lane detour for McCord.
The project has been under development for more than a decade, having been identified in the early 2000s as a crossing where the combination of heavy street and train traffic posed a safety hazard to the public as well as risking delay to emergency vehicles.
The safety issue was thrown into sharp focus in 2009 when two students walking to nearby Springfield High School were struck by an Amtrak train when they tried to run across the tracks ahead of it. One was killed and the other was seriously injured.