Tuesday, Jan 16, 2018
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Erie Street water main project completion delayed

Snow this week may have added a carpet of white to the stretch of Erie Street where the city of Toledo is replacing a 30-inch water main, but that’s not the reason the project’s completion has been pushed back into late January, a project official said Friday.

A Toledo Edison electrical conduit’s unexpected closeness to a 12-inch water main beneath Adams Street, not the weather, is to blame for a 16-day extension the city announced this week for work at Adams and Erie, said Scott Sibley, the administrative utilities engineer for the city division of engineering services.

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Erie Street and Madison Avenue in downtown Toledo. A completion of a water main replacement project has been pushed back to January.

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But recent wintry weather is the reason, he said, for the delayed start of replacing a smaller main under Beech Street near The Blade building.

The $2.4 million replacement of the 30-inch pipe beneath Erie from Cherry Street to Adams began mid-summer with excavations at the Cherry end and has gradually progressed south toward Adams.

At Adams, Mr. Sibley said, project planners called for installing a new valve on the intersecting 12-inch main, a task expected to shut Adams down for a week when it began Dec. 6.

But once contractor Zeiler Excavating of Temperance, Mich. dug in, he said, the “large Toledo Edison duct bank” turned out to be “right on top” of the Adams water main, which dates back to the late 19th century.

“We can’t get access to it to put a new valve on it,” Mr. Sibley said, explaining that changing how that main connects to the pipe along Erie will extend the work there until Dec. 29.

Connecting the mains and completing some other connections at Erie and Adams represent the last tasks necessary before the new main can be tested and tied into existing mains at either of its ends, Mr. Sibley said.

Those final tie-ins now are expected to be made in mid-January, after which the closed right lanes on Erie will be patched and reopened to traffic for the rest of winter.

“We’re a little behind schedule,” Mr. Sibley said. “We had hoped to have Erie closed up [trenches repaved] before the end of the year, but that’s not going to happen.”

The Erie water main’s replacement is to be followed by street resurfacing next spring.

Tim Grosjean, the city’s roadway design engineer, said that project is expected to take about four months to complete and will cover Erie from Lafayette Street to Cherry as well as Michigan Street and Spielbusch Avenue between Adams and Cherry.

The top 3¼ inches of both streets — including temporary concrete patching over the Erie water main — will be ground off and repaved. The work is expected to cost between $1.6 million and $2 million but a contract remains to be awarded, Mr. Grosjean said.

Repaving, rather than rebuilding, is all the involved sections of Erie, Michigan, and Spielbusch need for the next 15 to 20 years, the design engineer said.

“The subgrade is in decent shape. We don’t have any issues with it,” he said. “...We’ll make deeper repairs in any areas that look bad once it’s uncovered.”

As has been the case during the water project, two lanes will be maintained on Erie during repaving, but on-street parking will be banned, Mr. Grosjean said.

Parking meters on all of Beech were bagged all this week, but no work occurred there. Mr. Sibley said that was because of the weather.

“If it weren’t for the snow, contractors were going to saw cut the street today [Friday],” he said.

Officials decided to replace the main along Beech as an extension of recent water-main replacement along Superior Street between Jackson and Orange streets, Mr. Sibley said.

“It shouldn’t be more than a couple of weeks, along with pavement restoration in the spring,” he said.

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

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