SHEFFIELD — At first glance, the $3.2 million widening project on North Abbe Road might not appear to be making much progress.
But looks can be deceiving, according to Mayor John Hunter.
“We’re looking to have everything completed by Thanksgiving, which is about a month ahead of schedule,” Hunter said. “The only widening work being done is on the east side of the road and right now most of the work is on the west side,” where new sidewalks are being installed.
A major part of work on the east side of Abbe Road involves the relocation of about 60 utility poles by Ohio Edison crews, as well as all above-ground electrical, cable and phone lines.
All utility lines will be placed underground as part of the project, which will expand the number of traffic lanes from four to six from Detroit Road south to Hoag Drive, at the main entrance to Cobblestone Square on North Abbe Road, and at the entrance to Panera Bread.
The widening work is designed to ease traffic backups and reduce the number of accidents through the congested area that draws heavy traffic each day.
Work is now underway to place all electrical lines below ground, including those for new traffic signals and crosswalks in a stretch of Abbe between Detroit Road and Antioch Drive.
Other work that has to be done before new lanes can be added on the eastern or northbound side of Abbe is the relocation of storm sewers 13 feet back from their current positions.
Northbound drivers on Abbe Road will have the benefit of two left-turn lanes taking them west onto Detroit Road, two right-hand turn lanes taking traffic east onto Detroit Road and two straight northbound lanes.
Southbound Abbe Road drivers also will see new right-hand and left-hand turn lanes onto Detroit Road, as well as two straight-ahead lanes.
New sidewalks also will be installed on the eastbound side of Abbe Road.
The village has taken pains to keep businesses informed of the project’s progress.
“We send them updates every week to let them know what’s going on,” Hunter said. “Our intent is to see that they are inconvenienced as little as possible by this work, especially since they’re paying the taxes for it.”
The Abbe Road widening is being paid for with a combination of state and local money, with Sheffield kicking in 20 percent of total costs.
Officials hope to complete the utility pole relocation and other work done before classes resume Aug. 26 at LCCC.
In addition to the road widening, work on the
$2.5 million bridge replacement project in which a new Abbe Road span will go over Interstate 90 is moving along well, according to Christine Myers, public information officer for the District 3 offices of the Ohio Department of Transportation in Ashland.
“Our project engineer said we’re making good progress and are right on schedule to be completed by Oct. 31,” Myers said.
Work being done now includes reinforcement of bridge decking with steel beams that will precede the pouring of concrete bridge decks that are set to be done next week.
Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or firstname.lastname@example.org.