‘Tis the season for construction: What’s going on in Amherst?


Orange barrels up on Rt. 58, new businesses going up

By Jason Hawk - jhawk@civitasmedia.com



Photos by Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times Workers prep Rt. 58 at the Norfolk and Southern Railroad overpass as a months-long paving effort ramps up.


North Coast Design Build is already working at the site of a wing expansion at Amherst Manor.


Contractors have cleared land on Kresge Drive for a new phase of Century Plaza.


Beams are up and blocks are going down at the new Dollar General on Milan Avenue.


Get used to detours.

The target date for a huge paving effort to begin on Rt. 58 has been shifted around in recent months. But now work seems ready to begin Monday or Tuesday.

Erie Blacktop of Sandusky has been hired for the $1 million highway project by the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Amherst paid its $198,350 share of the bill late last year, unusually far in advance.

The state agency had originally estimated a June 1 start date with wrap-up by Sept. 30. As the months have worn on, District III reps pointed to early August for staging — which is happening now with orange signs going up along the corridor.

Now ODOT’s timetable pushes work out well into October and possibly November.

Traffic on Rt. 58 will be cut down to a single lane for the duration.

It’s also unclear where work will begin. Originally, ODOT told the News-Times heavy machines would roll out just south of Rt. 113 and gradually move north to the project’s endpoint at North Ridge Road.

But contractors were out Tuesday at the Norfolk and Southern Railroad overpass near Rice Industrial Parkway, cutting traffic down to the middle as they took jackhammers to the outside lanes. Signs, still covered, are numerous near the Amherst side of the stretch and nearly non-existed to the south.

Last year, resurfacing was done from North Ridge to Cooper Foster Park Road.

Amherst mayor Mark Costilow said extending the project’s timeline into the fall mean significant savings.

Rt. 58 will not only get a new surface but the city plans to do full-depth repairs and replace catch basins under the roadway, which aim to stop erosion under the road and combat runoff problems. That will give the highway asphalt a longer lifespan, Costilow said.

Here’s a look at other summer road and commercial construction unfolding in Amherst:

• Seven city streets have been paved and await striping, sealing, joint tarring, and catch basin adjustment to finish up.

• Meadowbrook Drive, Quail Court, and Killdeer Court won’t get concrete this year despite a petition drive by residents there. After city council turned down the more expensive option, asphalt work is expected to start on those streets next week, Costilow said.

In addition to extensive water controls under the road to fix decades old flooding and erosion issues, a small sanitary sewer replacement has been added to the project.

Amherst’s spending this summer on street improvements is in the neighborhood of $1.1 million.

• That number doesn’t include about $645,000 on a separate project on Cooper Foster Park Road west of Lake Street.

Paving there won’t start for at least a couple more weeks, Costilow said.

When it does, there’s a chance it could stretch farther than originally anticipated — all the way to the city’s western limits. The mayor said he’s talking with Ohio Public Works Commission reps to see whether expanding the project this late in the summer is possible.

• The nearby Deerfield Estates, which includes Target and Lowe’s Home Improvement, plans to fix its pothole-plagued parking lot. According to Amherst building department secretary Tammy Paterson, Colcon Corp. intends to start work there Sept. 12. A new site manager has been brought on for construction of Taco Bell at the mouth of the Cooper Foster Park Road entrance.

• Though work is well underway, Amherst Manor plans to break ground at noon on Thursday, Sept. 22 on its new wing on North Lake Street. Last summer, city council approved plans for a 30-room addition with therapy facilities.

• Also on the west side, steel beams are up and concrete blocks are being set at the new Dollar General store on Milan Avenue. The site was sold off several years ago by the Amherst Eagles. Plans to build a dollar store there — the city’s fourth — met anger from readers earlier this after planning commission approval.

• Expansion has started on the east side of the Amherst Public Library. Workers are staging next door in the parking lot of the city’s San-Springs building (where utilities, income tax, and auditor’s offices are located).

The library is getting a $169,500 addition by Star Builders. At roughly 12 by 22 feet and two stories tall, the space will be mainly used for storage as librarians wrestle with space issues, which have necessitated the use of off-site storage units for books and other materials that aren’t always in rotation.

Work is expected to wrap in 110 days.

• Dirt has been mounded and space cleared on Kresge Drive in front of Aldi to make way for Century Plaza phase three.

The new 5,956-square-foot building will feature three commercial spaces. Domino’s Pizza and Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches will flank a central space for which a tenant has not been named.

Costilow said the developer has agreed to make improvements on Kresge, including restriping, relighting, and widening of a stretch of the street to three lanes. That work is contingent on the results of a traffic impact study.

Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.

Photos by Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times Workers prep Rt. 58 at the Norfolk and Southern Railroad overpass as a months-long paving effort ramps up.

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2016/08/web1_DSC_3154.jpg

Photos by Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times Workers prep Rt. 58 at the Norfolk and Southern Railroad overpass as a months-long paving effort ramps up.

North Coast Design Build is already working at the site of a wing expansion at Amherst Manor.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2016/08/web1_DSC_3121.jpgNorth Coast Design Build is already working at the site of a wing expansion at Amherst Manor.

Contractors have cleared land on Kresge Drive for a new phase of Century Plaza.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2016/08/web1_DSC_3088.jpgContractors have cleared land on Kresge Drive for a new phase of Century Plaza.

Beams are up and blocks are going down at the new Dollar General on Milan Avenue.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2016/08/web1_DSC_3114.jpgBeams are up and blocks are going down at the new Dollar General on Milan Avenue.
Orange barrels up on Rt. 58, new businesses going up

By Jason Hawk

jhawk@civitasmedia.com