Plans in motion for Wayne Avenue repairs

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Plans in motion for Wayne Avenue repairs

By Jessica Johnston, Assistant News Director

Road closure signs have obstructed southbound traffic on Wayne Avenue for nearly three months. Monday evening, city council approved the bidding process to begin repairs on the road.

On April 12, the southbound lane of Wayne Avenue, also known as SR-60, was closed indefinitely from Marietta Street to the city limits.

A few months later, plans are now developing to begin work on the roadway.

There are three problem-areas along Wayne Avenue. The first is a large culvert and a wall, at Arcadia Lane, that is holding up the roadway along the river side. The culvert needs replaced. Farther south from Arcadia Lane, there are two areas where the road has slipped, Zanesville City Engineer Chip Saunders said.

“We’re going to have to put in a wall to fix those slips, and the slips are close enough together that instead of building two walls and a gap in the middle, we’re just going to build one continuous wall because we’re worried about that middle section failing if we don’t,” Saunders said.

Monday evening, Zanesville City Council approved an ordinance authorizing the City to put the two-part project, including the wall to correct the road slips and the replacement of the culvert, out for bid.

The bid process typically takes about three weeks.

The main factor preventing work from beginning as soon as possible is the risk of working under utility poles along the roadway on the river side. In order to begin construction, the City is coordinating with AEP to get the utility poles along the roadway moved, either temporarily or permanently.

“What we’re dealing with right now is, to do the work, there’s power lines on the river side basically on the bank between the road and the river, those have to be relocated out of the way to do the work,” Saunders said. “We can’t work under live power lines with the equipment we need to make the fix.”

While the City would have no problem with AEP moving the utility poles back to their original locations once construction is completed, Saunders said the company is assessing the best solution.

“It’s not like moving one pole or replacing one pole,” Saunders said. “This is a significant project for them, so it takes a little time for them to do their planning part of it, as well.”

Upon AEP relocating utility poles, and the project bid being awarded to a company, construction will be underway. Saunders said the best scenario is to begin work in August.

Due to the amount of construction that will go into the project, both lanes of Wayne Avenue will be shut down during the duration of the repairs. Saunders said it’s estimated that the work will take about 60 days to complete from the time a contractor is awarded the bid.

“The nature of this work, that culvert goes most of the way across the road and the equipment that’s got to be brought in to fix that slip, it’s not a job where you can keep it open to traffic and do the work,” Saunders said.

With the roughly $700,000 project beginning later in the summer, construction will likely not be completed by the time school begins.

“With where we’re at in the process, we’re not going to be able to complete that before school restarts,” Saunders said. “What we will do is coordinate closely with the school districts that will be affected, and we will work with them to figure out alternate plans to get those kids picked up.”