Summer is beginning to wind down, but road construction season is still in full swing.
It will be early November before the last city street is resurfaced for the year, just in time to give snowplow drivers a smooth ride during winter.
Doug Stephens, Toledo’s engineering services administrator, said all but two of the city’s major streets slated for resurfacing or reconstruction and one or two of the planned residential projects will be done before the snow flies. The few that crews need to put on hold will resume in the 2019 construction season.
“This is a large year for us. We’ve done a significant number of projects,” Mr. Stephens said.
Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said he made street repair “a top priority” of his first year in office. He set aside $8.75 million for repaving and rebuilding residential streets. City council then approved spending $2.36 million more on streets from savings in other areas.
“We resurfaced more miles of road this year than any year, except one, since 1999,” Mr. Kapszukiewicz said. “We began resurfacing the Anthony Wayne Trail 18 months ahead of schedule. We still have a long way to go, but there is no question we’re making progress and investing in our roads in a way that hasn’t been seen in 20 years.”
Mr. Stephens said he anticipates crews will finish all but one mile of the planned 20 miles of residential streets projects. Work on City Park Avenue likely will be stalled because of the Ohio Department of Transportation’s ongoing Anthony Wayne Trail bridge replacement that required the intersection with City Park Avenue to close.
Dana Street in South Toledo also likely will have to wait because the work was bid out late in the season.
“It is a road and a waterline project,” Mr. Stephens said. “It bid late in the year, so we are probably only going to be able to get the water line work done this year. Next year we would come back and reclaim the road.”
The Anthony Wayne Trail, a once pothole-riddled route to and from South Toledo and downtown, is on schedule to be repaired and resurfaced between Glendale and South avenues by its original Oct. 2 deadline, Mr. Stephens said.
Intermediate paving on the two-mile stretch wrapped up last month, and work on concrete curbs, catch basins, and wheelchair ramps at intersections is under way. Surface paving planned for mid-September will require two of three lanes to close, but the bulk of the work will be done at night.
“Everything has gone very well on that job,” Mr. Stephens said of the $2.9 million project.
In terms of other major thoroughfares, work on Navarre Avenue, Central Avenue, Monroe Street, Michigan Avenue, and Ottawa River Road is either complete or will be by the time the asphalt plants shut off in November.
Mr. Stephens said work on Summit Street from Lagrange to Monroe streets may be held up, and he already anticipates work on North Expressway Drive and South Expressway Drive to spill over into 2019.
“Summit Street we are evaluating and there is more pavement repair that we believe will need to be done than we initially planned for,” he said.
Overall, city officials spoke optimistically about this year’s construction season.
“I think on the major streets you’re going to see a smoother ride into downtown and some improved traffic movements,” Mr. Stephens said. “and for the residents, they’re going to have a nice new road to live on, so that’s better for them.”
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