“Summer in the City” was one of my favorite turn-up the car radio and rock-out tunes from my teen years — but it doesn’t quite have that same born-to-be-wild effect when you’re cranking it up sitting in a traffic jam. Traffic jams are an unfortunate part of the summer paving season. We’re getting ready for our big paving job in Kent — milling and paving SR 43 from SR 261 into downtown — so turn up the radio, kick back and please be patient with the delays.
Photo Complements of Rick Bissler — It is NOT IN KENT!!!! — but it seemed relevant to this posting.
Milling and Repaving SR 43 — This work will begin Monday June 18th. Chris Tolnar, our city engineer says that ODOT is ready to move their contractors into town Monday to start the milling operations. I’ve seen jobs this size take some time to finish, especially if the weather turns bad, but Chris says these crews are asphalt’s version of a NASCAR pit crew — they tear up the road and put a new one down in a hurry — so he’s expecting it to go very quickly.
Street Markings and Re-Striping — You may have seen cones and city crews blocking off parts of streets around town so that they could refresh the paint at intersections. In case you didn’t know it, the Central Maintenance Division performs all the “small” paint markings around town. This includes Stop Blocks, Crosswalks, Arrows, RR crossing, and School Zones. Last year we spent 860 hours on painting these areas and we used 680 gallons of paint costing us a total for labor and supplies just under $25,000. As far as the long line painting in the City (centerline stripes, shoulder stripes, etc.) we contract that out to the low bid contractor because we don’t have the specialized equipment. Last year we spent just under $24,000 on long line street painting.
Street Patch Repairs — As we all know, Old Man Winter is not kind to our streets. Between water lines that burst beneath the streets thanks to the cold temperatures or the potholes that pop from the freeze-thaw cycle, city streets take a beating each winter. That means each summer city crews are busy trying to undo the damage and put our streets back in good driving condition. It isn’t always pretty looking at a patchwork of patches, but city crews work hard to repair all those temporary patches that were done in the winter with a good hot mix asphalt repair. To give you an idea of the magnitude of all these “little” jobs, city crews used close to 600 tons of asphalt for these spot repairs in 2006.
I have to say, our city crews are masters at the fine art of street patch repairs. And if you don’t believe me, ride across the repairs they did at the top of Summit Street where pipes broke last winter — you don’t even feel a hint of a bump going over them, which is the mark of a true patch craftsman.
The street work can be frustrating while you’re in traffic behind it, but it really is a great example of your tax dollars hard at work.
On Kent State Campus
TERRACE DRIVE CLOSED TO THROUGH TRAFIC FOR CONSTRUCTION MERRILL CIRCLE AND BOWSHER CIRCLE ALSO CLOSED BEGINNING THE WEEK OF JUNE 11 AND CONTINUING THROUGH AUGUST 17
Starting the week of June 11, 2007, contractors will begin mobilizing on-site to construct a new utility tunnel leading from Oscar Ritchie Hall to Merrill Hall on the Kent Campus of Kent State University. The tunnel will cross Terrace Drive just east of the “Behind the Brain at Merrill Hall” sculpture south of Merrill Hall. This work will effectively close Terrace Drive to through traffic during its construction. Signs will be posted at SR 59/East Main Street and Summit Street to indicate the street closure to through traffic. Fencing will be installed around the entire construction zone. Contractors are currently waiting to receive scheduling information from the supplier providing the precast tunnel sections. These tunnel sections should start to arrive as early as the week of June 11, 2007.
When delivery schedules are confirmed, further information will be provided. The exact date of street closure will depend on the delivery schedule of the tunnel sections. Every effort will be made to reopen the road and sidewalks as early as possible; however, work is anticipated to continue until August 17; unknown underground site conditions and weather constraints could also potentially affect the project. Utility work will require several water shut downs to buildings in the vicinity of the tunnel work. Notices will be sent when plans and dates for that work are scheduled.
In addition, Merrill Circle (the loop drive behind Merrill Hall) and Bowsher Circle (the entry to the R-19 parking lot will be temporarily closed during tunnel construction. During that time, PARTA transports will be able to make a three-point turn at the west end of Merrill Circle, vehicles may turn around at Flemming Circle on the east side of the construction. Entry to the R-19 parking lot will be available at the paved temporary drive between the Art Annex and Van Deusen Hall. Please note that this drive is one lane wide and is a steep grade. Signs will be posted to warn drivers of conditions and for protection of pedestrians on the Terrace Drive sidewalk. Pedestrians are urged to use the University Esplanade and Commons walks leading to the east side of Engleman Hall to avoid this area and traverse campus in the north/south direction. Across North Campus, walks on the north side of Lowry, Merrill, Cartwright, and Kent halls will be the means to bypass the excavation east-to-west.
OSCAR RITCHIE HALL TO CLOSE FOR MAJOR RENOVATIONS
While Oscar Ritchie Hall is under renovation, the Department of Pan African Studies is scheduled to temporarily relocate to the Lincoln Building during the week of July 16, 2007. The building is scheduled to be turned over to the Demolition/Abatement Contractor the week of July 23. Site work and other mobilization will begin within the next few weeks.
Detailed descriptions of construction project can be found on the Office of the University Architect’s Web site at: www.kent.edu/universityarchitect/DescriptionofCurrentProjects.cfm.