ELYRIA — Gulf Road from Burns Road to Hilliard Road is a hodgepodge of road closed signs, orange barrels and heavy construction equipment, and it will be like that for several more months, said City Engineer Tim Ujvari.
“As a through route, it won’t open until late fall or early winter,” Ujvari said. “We have part of the project complete, but we will also begin the next phase in the next couple of weeks.”
Road construction Wednesday on Gulf Road in Elyria.
STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE Enlarge
While the North Abbe Road workaround — which is the route most daily users of Gulf Road now use — has extended commute times and frustrated drivers, Ujvari said allowing traffic on Gulf Road is just not possible due to the sheer scope of the project.
The project addresses the wet weather issues in the city that are the result of the multitude of combined sewers that convey sanitary waste when it’s dry and stormwater when it rains. When the city has heavy rains — much like what poured down Friday afternoon — the sewers overflow and that overflow goes into the river. That is a problem the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency wants fixed.
The solution is a new 78-inch-diameter sewer buried almost 30 feet deep that will snake through parts of the city. It will take about four to five years to construct.
“This is a pipe large enough to walk through,” Ujvari said. “It is quite extensive, and there is no easy way to do it.”
Ujvari said the completed first phase of the project is from the wastewater plant to Whitman Boulevard. From there the project will go from Whitman to Abbe Road and south on Abbe and under the Ohio Turnpike and state Route 57 to Poplar Street. The sewer will then turn west on Poplar back toward Gulf Road.
The main portion of the work will soon be on Whitman. Ujvari said the wastewater plant will serve as a staging area for material and heavy equipment. Keeping the road closed will allow for easier work.
“But there has been a lot of offenders to that,” Ujvari said. “That has been some of the concerns of the residents who live there and the contractor so we will start trying to do a bit more enforcement to keep people off the road.”
And, if you think just one portion of Gulf Road will be marred by construction, think again.
The city has plans to soon redo the pavement on the north stretch of the road from the corporation line south across the bridge. The work includes a little bit of widening, new guardrails and resurfacing. It will be rough, but passable, Ujvari said.
The road will be milled similar to Third Street’s current condition. Speaking of the downtown road, Ujvari finally had a bit of good news for motorists.
He said the Leo Bullocks Parkway bridge should reopen early this week.
“They are targeting it by the Fourth of July,” he said.
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