ELYRIA — As the old joke goes, “There are two seasons in Ohio: Winter and construction.”
And with winter approaching, construction season in the city is taking a partial vacation, with several phases of major infrastructure projects partially completed and others awaiting bids or regulatory approval.
The East Side Relief Sewer project, connecting the wastewater treatment plant on Gulf Road to the Eastern Heights neighborhood, still is in progress.
City Engineer John Schneider said several phases of the project that closed Gulf Road and Whitman Boulevard are done, minus the restoration of tree lawns, he said.
Phase 1C will be put out to bid by the end of the year, though work will not begin until Gulf Road reopens. A 78-inch storage pipe 30 feet underground will collect overflow and relieve the existing stormwater runoff problems that have caused flooding.
Abbe Road will be shut down during this portion of the project in order to connect the pipe down Abbe Road to Howard Street, to Bon Air Avenue to the Ohio Turnpike.
Phase 1C will pick up again on the south side of state Route 57 on Bon Air Avenue, south to Poplar Street, then west to Longfellow Street.
“We’re closer to that process, to bidding that out,” Schneider said. “We’re just waiting for the Ohio (Environmental Protection Agency) permit to install.”
The section under the Ohio Turnpike and state Route 57 is a separate contract because it involves tunneling under both highways, according to the city. The city is under a federal EPA mandate to fix its combined wastewater and stormwater sewers and prevent runoff into the Black River.
In other projects, an ultraviolet disinfection system at the Wastewater Treatment Plant is expected to be completed in May 2019. Crews already have connected the East Side Relief Sewer to the plant.
The Cleveland Street water main is being installed and may cause traffic delays, with motorists asked to use caution. Three crews are working on Cleveland Street, Bon Air Avenue and Abbe Road.
“It’s getting closer to being complete,” Schneider said, with no final schedule due to complications of the weather.
“The weather has been terrible,” he said. “The contractor has worked through the bad weather, but it doesn’t always lead to the most efficient work sometimes. They’re plugging away.”
City and contract crews also have replaced many lights on state Routes 57 and 113 with LEDs, with more lights on 113 to be installed by the end of the year — again, weather-permitting.
“Some are still out, because the contractor went to replace those and there was no power to the top,” Schneider said, “whether from critter or wind problems.”
Paving also has been completed for the East Bridge Street resurfacing project, and permanent pavement markings will be installed in the spring, according to the city. Temporary markings are in place, due to winter temperatures.