ELYRIA — After nearly two years of construction and delays due to cold and wet weather, motorists can expect to see Gulf Road open to traffic within the next four to six weeks.
City Engineer John Schneider shared the good news Monday with Elyria City Council. He said some “unforeseen items” have delayed the completion of the project, including unpredictable weather and low temperatures.
“Since mid-October, it seemed like we had a lot of rain, and that poses a big issue,” Schneider said Tuesday. “And not only for us, but it delays (workers) in their other contracts, which holds us up. The weather has played a huge impact on the completion of the project.”
The roadway has been affected by near-constant work since early 2017, when it was closed for the start of the East Side Relief Sewer project. Gulf Road is closed from the north side, adjacent to the Valley of the Eagles Golf Club, with access from the south only.
Phase 1C of the project will involve shutting North Abbe Road from Whitman Boulevard to either Howard Street or Hilliard Road, Schneider said. That phase of construction requires a final OK from the Environmental Protection Agency and won’t begin until Gulf Road re-opens, he added.
The project connects the city wastewater treatment plant on Gulf Road to the Eastern Heights neighborhood. A 78-inch storage pipe installed 30 feet underground will relieve stormwater runoff that has caused flooding in the past.
The city is under a federal EPA mandate to fix its combined wastewater and stormwater sewers and prevent runoff into the Black River.
Schneider said the city and engineers don’t want to cause any added stress for motorists with more construction, and “want to open up as soon as possible” despite the weather and “some other unforeseen conditions.”
“When you start digging, you never know what you’re going to find,” he said.
Final line painting and striping of edge lines and other markings will take place in the coming year, and a temporary center line is in place. Guardrails should be installed this week or next, Schneider said.