Before this spring, many River Road drivers, bicyclists, joggers, and walkers didn’t realize the road crosses Delaware Creek in an area of South Toledo between Marengo Street and Glendale Avenue.
Trees removed near a culvert recently made that passage a little more evident.
But detour signs going up Monday will likely draw even more attention from drivers.
For about four months, River Road will be closed to through traffic between Harvard Circle and Sherwood Avenue while the culvert is replaced with a 78-foot-long bridge.
It’s going to force Anne Caulder, an Island Avenue resident, to alter her regular four-mile walk from home to Walbridge Park and back.
“That’ll pretty much be the rest of the good season,” Ms. Caulder said of the detour’s duration while walking home from the park one evening this week.
Laura Hickey, who lives on River a few houses south of the creek, said the project surely will be more of a problem for foot and bike traffic than it will be for drivers.
“It’ll be an inconvenience — I got to work that way, my husband goes to work that way. But it’s not like we’re not 30 seconds from the [Anthony Wayne] Trail the other way,” she said with a wave toward Sherwood Avenue, which will be part of the detour route.
The work by Mosser Construction, of Fremont, is expected to cost about $985,000.
Pete Bick, the project engineer for the city division of streets, bridges, and harbor said plans are under review after Mosser’s bid, $1.1 million, came in over budget.
City funds for the project will be boosted by a $335,000 grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission’s bond fund and $136,700 from Lucas County — the latter because River Road is considered an extension of a county road, although the closest unincorporated area is more than five miles away in Monclova Township.
Through traffic will be detoured via Sherwood, the Trail, and Glendale. The new bridge is scheduled to open Nov. 3.
Mr. Bick said it’s hard to pin down the culvert’s true age, because it was modified several times over the years.
But the last major work there was done during the 1920s.
“It’s listed in poor condition,” the city engineer said. “There are cracks in the concrete, and water and silt is starting to filter through those cracks.”
A bridge will be built to replace the 15-by-10-foot culvert, he said, because that will be cheaper than replacing 18 feet of earthen fill.
“The soil conditions are poor,” Mr. Bick said, “so we would need a significant number of pilings” to reinforce a replacement fill.
The bridge will be built with sidewalks on both sides and enough deck to provide for a bike lane in the future, he said.
“It’ll be just slightly wider than it [River] is now,” the engineer said.
Like Ms. Caulder, the construction plan caught Mrs. Hickey by surprise.
She said she thought the tree cutting near the creek had been to protect power lines along River Road.
Susan and Tim Nicks, who live just north of the work site, said they had heard the culvert would be replaced, but didn’t know when, or that the project will take four months.
“Every time I go somewhere, I drive through there,” Mrs. Nicks said, explaining that she prefers driving River to the Trail because it’s more pleasant and “the houses are peaceful to look at.”
They’ll have a pretty good view of the construction from their front porch, and they also lived near the Maumee-Perrysburg bridge when it was replaced about a decade ago.
“I’m sure it’ll be a pretty bridge,” Mrs. Nicks said. “We enjoyed watching the Maumee bridge get built.”
Contact David Patch at: email@example.com or 419-724-6094.