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Harmar Hill route set to reopen soon

Photo by Janelle Patterson Patching is delayed Monday along Lancaster Street with a rain-filled day, but patching above the waterline replacement is anticipated to be completed by the end of next week, weather permitting.

Despite some cold and rainy days since October, the Lancaster/Alta waterline replacement project in Marietta is approaching its planned milestone on schedule.

“Today’s rain killed us, you can’t pave or patch in the rain,” said Jim Wark, providing oversight of the city project through Pickering Associates, on Monday. “But if the weather cooperates, we will be done with 99 percent of the project by the end of this week. We may have some punch list items like a few sidewalks and yards in the spring, but that’s normal.”

Residents on Harmar Hill have navigated the closure of Lancaster utilizing Maple Street Extension and Pearl Street Extension off of Fort Harmar Drive for the past two months, adjusting not only around the city’s construction closures but also intermittent delays surrounding renovations to the nursing home on Bartlett Street.

“The speeders coming through here have been the worst,” said Angela Hinton, of Sharonsville, as she visited her mother Shirley Sider,s who lives on Alta Street, on Monday. “That and the sidewalks that have broken during all of the construction–those are the real hazards.”

Hinton walks their dog along the residential roads in the Harmar Hill neighborhood, and worries about tripping over broken sidewalks surrounding the construction zone.

Photo by Janelle Patterson Pastor Sam Edgell and his wife Sharon stops to visit with Shirley Siders, seated, and Angela Hinton, back, Monday on Alta Street.

“Up here, a lot of people walk their dogs, it’s a trip hazard,” Hinton explained as she took Little Bear for a walk Monday afternoon, pointing out where one traffic cone marks a depression on the sidewalk across from the Alta/Vista intersection.

Wark said speed and drivers not paying attention to road closure and construction warning cones and signs have also put those laboring on site at risk.

“We’ve almost had guys hit because people don’t pay attention. One woman almost hit me and instead ran over a cone I was right next to over on Victory Place,” he said. “But overall the project has gone really well and Stonegate has done a wonderful job.”

The waterline construction closed Lancaster Street and Douglas Avenue beginning on Oct. 2. Still, Wark said if the weather holds, the roads should be reopened by the end of December.

“Then I’m not part of the paving portion next year–that’s a state bid project that will mill and put in additional drainage and curbs along the hill,” he explained.

Photo by Janelle Patterson Angela Hinton minds trip hazards as she takes the family dog Little Bear for a walk along the sidewalk disrupted by waterline construction along Alta Street Monday.

The paving of Lancaster still doesn’t have a definitive timeline after city engineering reported back to Marietta City Council in November that bids for the paving project came in over the state estimate, which was $616,000.

City Engineer Joe Tucker told council that the two bids for the project came in 18 to 33 percent over the state budget and the project will have to be rebid in January.

But for residents living on the hill, the route should be open through the winter months.

“We’ll just have to come back in the spring to do some touch-ups in people’s yards,” said Wark.

The waterline replacement project is anticipated to cost the city $1,019,478.16 upon completion, paid for through a loan from the Ohio Water Development Authority.

Janelle Patterson can be reached at jpatterson@mariettatimes.com.

By the numbers:

Waterline replacement and paving of Ohio 676 between Fort Harmar Drive and Alta Street:

• Waterline replacement cost estimate: $1,019,478.16.

• Current loan disbursement from the Ohio Water Development Authority: $475,954.51.

• Estimated completion date: Dec. 31.

• Paving project:

• To be rebid in January.

• State estimate of $616,000 was inaccurate after bids came back in Fall 2019 for 18-30 percent above state estimate.

• Estimated to begin in Spring 2020.

Sources: Marietta Engineering Department, Ohio Water Development Authority, Ohio Department of Transportation.

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