Road work in Fairlawn nearing completion
FAIRLAWN — Dominion East Ohio has been busy replacing corroded steel gas lines in Fairlawn and the project has caused some traffic issues.
Ernie Staten, the deputy service director for Fairlawn, said the city has been monitoring the project in an effort to make traffic flow as smoothly as possible.
“The work that’s being done on [state] Route 18 [West Market Street] and Miller Road is Dominion East Ohio replacing gas lines. What’s currently in the ground is a steel gas line that has corroded, and they need to replace it with a plastic line,” he explained. “In order to do that, they need to be on both sides of the street. That’s why they’ve blocked off both sides of the street and that’s why the backups have occurred.”
Staten said two lanes in separate areas of West Market Street are being blocked, while two side-by-side lanes are being blocked on Miller Road. The bulk of the work is slated to be completed tomorrow, Nov. 22, he noted.
“They started the work in the first or second week of October,” he said. “They plan to be done at the end of [this week]. That’s the plan. They won’t be on the road as much. They still will have to do some restoration, but they won’t be on the road consuming that big of an area.”
According to Staten, the fact that West Market Street is as busy as it is makes it especially difficult to maintain a consistent traffic flow.
“It’s really hard to control, and they’ve done a decent job of it. We’ve stayed on top of the situation the best as we can,” he stated. “Obviously when there’s construction, there are going to be some backups. You are going to get those backups anytime there’s anything inhibiting one lane or two lanes.”
During the project, Staten said, traffic has been at its worst heading into the weekends.
“Each Friday it gets worse, and the section they were on [Nov. 15] was between Miller and Ghent on Route 18, and that’s actually the 10th busiest section of road in Northeast Ohio,” he said. “A couple of weeks ago, we had the same situation when they were at the Miller Road intersection, because of how busy that is. Anytime they are in that section — anywhere from Miller to Ghent — it’s really going to back things up.”
Staten said Dominion East Ohio has been “moving as quickly as they can.”
“You can see the big pipe that’s on the ground that they are putting inside the ground. It’s a large gas line, so it takes a little bit of time to do it,” he said. “But I think they’ve done the very best they can, and we have been right there on top of the situation the entire time. We’ve helped them to come up with a few better traffic plans.”
Dominion East Ohio is paying for the entirety of the project, Staten said, including any necessary restoration. And while the project is “inconvenient” now, he noted, replacing the corroded gas line will prove to be beneficial for residents in the future.
“The pipe that was in ground was from the 1950s and it’s all metal. Over the last few years, we have seen a lot of Dominion crews come out and do repairs all along West Market Street,” he said. “The reasons they needed to make those repairs was because the line was corroded. As a utility, they are put in charge of watching their own lines, and they knew at a certain point that they were going to have to fix those lines. Well, this year it turned that West Market Street and Miller Road came up at the same time. But there won’t be the shutdowns on the gas line in the future, because it won’t get corroded. It will be a plastic gas line, and there shouldn’t be issues with that gas line.”
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