Although mild weather has allowed the High Street widening project in Wadsworth to move ahead of schedule, an Ohio Department of Transportation spokeswoman said the completion date remains June 20, 2018.
Approximately 60 percent of the $12.4 million project that began last spring is complete, spokeswoman Crystal Neelon told about a dozen High Street business representatives who attended an informational meeting Wednesday at Wadsworth City Hall.
They learned there will be a temporary change to the traffic pattern on Great Oaks Trail - to one lane east and west.
"I would highly encourage alternative routes, using Smokerise (Drive) and Freedom (Drive) coming in from the west," said Mike Titus, ODOT project manager.
Titus suggested businesses encourage customers to learn the new access roads.
Wadsworth Economic Development Director Harry Stark said that during 2016, motorists were frustrated by the frequent changes in traffic patterns. But this year, the expectation is that drivers will see fewer.
Titus said "issues with utilities" were part of the problem a year ago.
"It did negatively impact the project, but it could have been a lot worse," he said, adding that crews are ahead of schedule on the overall project. Work on the west side of High Street is anticipated to begin March 20 and a permanent concrete median will be installed to help with the flow of traffic.
In 2016, the project focused on the east side of High Street:
- Utility poles relocated from areas where widening occurred.
- Water line and storm sewer work completed.
- Seven alleyways established.
- Traffic signal improvements completed.
- Park Center Drive reconstructed.
- Traffic signal improvements.
- Two more alleyways.
- Widening of the west side of the High Street bridge.
- Installation of permanent concrete medians.
- Asphalt surface added.
In 2018, Titus said, there will be landscaping, striping and general cleanup. The project contractor is Karvo Paving of Stow.
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Contact reporter Ashley Fox at (330) 721-4048 or firstname.lastname@example.org.