HENRIETTA TWP. — A section of Gore Orphanage Road that has been closed for a couple of years is finally scheduled to be repaired.
In five years.
The section of Gore Orphanage Road just south of Becker Road has been closed for a few years now, according to the Lorain County Engineer’s Office.
Assistant Engineer Bob Klaiber estimated that 15 years ago there was a failure with the slope on the east side of the road. Henrietta Township hired an engineer to design a retaining wall to repair the road, and the work was completed.
“Apparently, there was a flaw with the design, and it ended up in litigation,” Klaiber said. “The wall wasn’t holding right. It was designed incorrectly, and the wall was failing.”
The county Engineer’s Office began watching the condition of the road and eventually decided the road had to be closed.
“The sheet pile wall continued to fail,” Klaiber said. “I think it was over a 10-year period. It just slowly started moving. Some called the county and said they thought it was starting to move. We started keeping an eye on it, and when it started going, it just went.”
Klaiber isn’t sure when exactly the road was closed, but he believes it was within the past five years.
The road has remained closed because of a lack of funds to repair the road properly. After the work done about 15 years ago failed, the township received a settlement from the designer and the soil tech people, but it wasn’t enough to redo the road.
“It’s more of the cost,” Klaiber said. “The wall has failed, so now it’s a pretty exorbitant cost to pull all that sheet pile wall that failed out and then rebuild the road.”
Last fall, the county Engineer’s Office applied for federal funds through the County Engineers Association of Ohio to replace a bridge on Gore Orphanage just north of where the road is closed. Included in that request were funds to repair the sheet pile wall and road. Klaiber estimated that both projects will cost around $3.2 million.
While the request for federal funds was granted, the county won’t see the money until 2022.
“The good thing is the funding has been secured. The downside is, now we have to get in line for the federal funds,” Klaiber said. “If the bridge wasn’t there, I don’t know how we do the project because there’d be no source of funds to fix that wall. We have a plan, it’s been approved, but now we have to wait five years for the funds.”
Klaiber said that since the funding schedule is based on the federal fiscal year, the project could begin bidding as early as July 2021.