Taylor: Rain delays paving plans

Paving on Rt. 58 has been pushed back again.

The Ohio Department of Transportation announced Friday that its project between Cooper Foster Park and North Ridge roads won’t begin now until July 29. Once it does start up, the blacktop job will be done at night.

The change was chalked up to recent inclement weather, according to an ODOT letter to Amherst mayor David Taylor’s office.

“This rain is really playing havoc with our contractors,” he told city council Monday night.

Taylor reported that the city’s street paving program — with intermittent work on North and South Lake streets, North and South Main streets, Milan Avenue, Terra Lane, North Woodhill Drive, Shadylawn Drive, and Middle Ridge Road — has also been delayed.

Now it won’t start until the first week of August.

That calls into question whether asphalt repairs will be finished across the city before school buses roll. The first day for Amherst students is Aug. 19.

Weather is also putting contractors for the state’s Safe Routes to School program in a bind, the mayor said. They are installing sidewalks on the east side of South Lake Street near Harris Elementary.

On track to begin this week is a bridge deck replacement on Rt. 2 at the North Main Street intersection. ODOT has not made any move to push the start back, Taylor said.

Police have posted a detour route for northbound motorists on Shadylawn Avenue east to Terra Lane, north to Cooper Foster Park Road, west to North Main (and the reverse for southbound drivers).

The area is estimated to reopen Thursday, Aug. 13.

Despite the troubles, city council is already looking ahead to 2016.

The finance committee is expected to approve an application this coming Monday for state Issue I funding. That money will be used to finance the final phase of blacktop resurfacing on Cooper Foster Park Road next summer.

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