By DENISE GRANT
Findlay’s summer road construction season is well underway, with city officials planning for less disruption this year.
Last summer, with downtown renovations, state roadwork, and seemingly haphazard work on city streets, Findlay was a maze of orange barrels.
This year, only finishing touches remain on the downtown renovations, and most state roadwork is finished.
The downtown project, which is meant to slow traffic on Main Street and make it more pedestrian-friendly, included improvements on Main from Lima Street to Center Street. Cory Street was also resurfaced, with curb replacement.
The project was funded by a $3.3 million state grant for improvements to Main Street. Marathon Petroleum Corp. donated $1.1 million.
This year, the crosswalks at the three mid-block crossings on Main Street will be surfaced with stamped concrete. The pattern and finish that is stamped into the concrete will make the crossings more apparent to drivers.
The crossings will also be outfitted with reflectors, to signal drivers to be cautious of pedestrians.
A one-way dedicated bike lane has been installed on Cory Street from Lima Avenue to Main Cross Street. The lane is for southbound bicycle traffic, and is on the west side of Cory.
On Cory Street north of Main Cross Street there is a “shareway,” marked by signs, meant for both bicycles and motorists. The street is finished, other than some signs.
Marathon Petroleum, as part of a development agreement with the city, has donated an additional $825,000 for finishing work.
Elsewhere in the city, the Ohio Department of Transportation will resurface South Main Street, from Lima Street to Woodley Avenue, this summer. The project is expected to be complete by Aug. 3 at a cost of $718,598, with the state paying 80 percent of the bill.
City Engineer Brain Thomas said tighter deadlines have been set for contractors this year, which should mean that concrete and asphalt work will be better coordinated and streets won’t be left for a long period of time with work unfinished.
During 2017 work, Thomas said the concrete contractor started early and the asphalt contractor started late. Both met deadlines, but some streets were left in a state of partial repair for weeks, which prompted complaints last year.
This year, all concrete work must be completed by Aug. 31, and all asphalt work must be completed by Oct. 19.
Bidding the concrete work and asphalt work separately saves the city money. In all, the city will spend $1.2 million on street work this year.
Streets to be resurfaced include: Cory, Sandusky, Summit, 20th, 21st, 22nd, West Hardin, Davis, Swing, McManness, Fox Run, Scarlet Oak, Ventura and Northparke.
Park Street has already been completely rebuilt this year from Lima Street to Hancock Street. Thomas said all of the bricks and the stone curbs were removed and the stone base was regraded. The street was given new curbs and asphalt.
The city also took the opportunity to replace a 100-year-old waterline during the Park Street rebuild. The cost of the project, including the waterline, was $221,334.
Work on Fishlock Avenue has started. That project will also replace a waterline and curbs, where needed. The street will be repaved from Sandusky Street to Blanchard Avenue at a cost of $845,551.
Thomas said this project must be completed before the Hancock County Fair begins. Opening day for the fair is Aug. 29.
Next up are improvements to Howard Street. Thomas said this project is still in the design phase.
“The intent is to bid the project in the fall, so that the contract can be awarded and work can begin over the winter,” Thomas said.
The project will also include a waterline replacement, installation of a storm sewer to allow for the combined sanitary/storm sewer to be separated, curb replacement and paving.
An Ohio Community Development Block Grant will be used to pay for the project, with the city paying the balance from the capital improvement fund, water fund and storm water fund. No cost estimate on the project was given.
More information, and interactive maps, about Findlay’s current and planned construction projects are available on the city’s website at www.findlayohio.com.
MORE: Check out the Courier Road Report for a look at the latest road construction projects across the region, updated regularly