The City of Delaware has entered into a Local Public Agency (LPA) Agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) as part of upcoming repairs and improvements to one of Delaware’s most traveled areas.
ODOT is planning to make a slew of repairs to the U.S. Route 23 bridge that runs over Delaware Run and East William Street, as well as to the deteriorated metal bin wall that runs along the exit ramp from U.S. 23 onto East William Street.
Repairs will also be made to the culvert that runs under Lake Street, between Joy Avenue and Horseshoe Road, as well as to the adjacent stonewall, headwall, and guardrail at the spillway of Greenwood Lake.
ODOT will fund 100% of the costs required to perform the project, but with the LPA Agreement, there will be some aesthetic add-ons for which the city will foot the bill.
“We’re looking for the wall to look like limestone and then stained,” City Engineer Bill Ferrigno said of the retaining wall. “My opinion is, for the value, I think we’ll get a much better-looking improvement. And as you know, (that ramp) is a huge gateway coming into the city … It really just looks terrible right now.”
Had council not approved the LPA Agreement, ODOT would have installed a basic concrete wall.
The cost to the city for the wall was originally estimated to be $30,000, but after the final design, ODOT’s estimate to the city was increased to $71,340. The project was included in the city’s 2020-24 Capital Improvement Plan at a cost of $50,000.
Combined with the rest of the repairs, the entire project is estimated to cost approximately $3,500,000 between ODOT and the city.
Ferrigno said there will be some closures of the exit ramp during the project, which he expects will last roughly three weeks. While the closing of the ramp may seem significant, Ferrigno said it won’t be as big a deal as it might be made out to be.
Discussed in the CIP was the proposal of a night-time closure of the ramp, from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., with one ramp lane remaining open during the day.
“I think we panicked at first, saying, ‘How can you close William Street?,’” Ferrigno said as an example. “It all worked out. Traffic tends to find its way around. It will be well-signed. We’ll use Access Delaware to notify people in advance. I don’t think it will shut the city down.”
Ferrigno said the project is expected to be completed by October.
In addition to the improvements that will be coming to the bin wall, City Manager Tom Homan pointed out there is another project the city will collaborate with ODOT on to enhance the visual of the area past the bin wall, underneath the overpass of U.S. Route 23.
That project will be part of the state’s “(Route) 23 Bridge Rehab Project,” according to Ferrigno, which will see the decks of every elevated bridge along Route 23 rebuilt.
“We really want to improve the way that looks,” Homan said. “It’s dark under there. It’s an opportunity for, perhaps, some enhancements as part of the whole area. The vents, the piers, and everything just look terrible. That’s kind of a gateway into the city, and it just doesn’t look good at all.”
Ferrigno said preliminary legislation on that project will come before Delaware City Council likely in the next couple of months.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.