Subsurface construction work on Central Avenue from Troy Road to The Point began Monday and is expected to last through August. Workers will be on the road beginning at 6 a.m. Monday through Thursday. It is anticipated the workers will be finished by 4 p.m. each day when traffic reaches its heaviest points, and no work will be done on Fridays for the same reason.
According to a press release from the City of Delaware, two-way traffic will be maintained throughout the work zones and will be directed by flagging operations.
“In short, the pavement is no longer sustainable under given conditions and has to be reconstructed,” Director of Engineering Bill Ferrigno said in the press release. He added, “As frustrating as this may be for motorists, leaving dips and holes in the pavement is just not a responsible approach to addressing the current situation.”
Community Affairs Coordinator Lee Yoakum described the project as more than fixing potholes but less than an entire rebuild, saying, “This is the only responsible thing we can do to make sure the road remains usable.”
The project comes ahead of the Ohio Department of Transportation’s scheduled replacement of Central Avenue’s top surface in 2020.
Yoakum acknowledged the repairs are just “band-aids,” stating there are structural deficiencies the city ultimately needs to and will fix. In particular, Central Avenue, having been constructed nearly 100 years ago, lacks sufficient subsurface drainage in order to keep the base in a solid condition. That has led to deterioration to the point that, according to the press release, “patching the many dips and holes yields, at best, temporary results.”
Until those significant improvements can be made, he said the city will “squeeze as much life out of the new surfacing as we can,” while it continues to work toward finding the funding for a complete rebuild. Yoakum didn’t anticipate any total reconstruction happening in the next three to five years.
The city plans to utilize grant money to help fund the eventual reconstruction. However, the grants require a local matching financial contribution and Yoakum speculated the city’s contribution could very well exceed $1 million dollars. For now, while the search for funds continues, the city is working through the initial progressions.
“Though no funding, local or grant, is yet identified, the project must proceed through these preliminary steps in preparation for eventual design, and ultimately its construction,” Yoakum said. “This development process can take two or three years to navigate successfully before the project can actually be bid and constructed. Nevertheless, we are committed to keeping this project a top priority.”
When asked how long the temporary fixes can be expected to hold up, Yoakum gave the most recent resurfacing project on Central Avenue in 2010 as a reference point.
Said Yoakum, “As frustrating as this may be, we have no other options but to continue to maintain the pavement as best as we can, on an interim basis, until we can advance the full reconstruction.”
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @ddavis_gazette.