April 23, 2014

Elyria
Mostly clear
44°F
test

Lanes to be added near oft-jammed sections of Abbe Road

SHEFFIELD — Abbe Road is going to get a facelift this summer, and traveling it won’t be fun until it’s done.

In Sheffield, a $3.2 million widening of Abbe Road southbound from four to six lanes in an area extending from Detroit Road to Hoag Drive at the main entrance to Cobblestone Square will take five to six months after its May 15 start.

Sheffield Mayor John Hunter said the project is being paid for with state and local money, with Sheffield paying 20 percent of the costs.

The area has seen increased traffic backlogs and accidents from greater commercial development and the thousands of students and staff who drive through the area going to and from Lorain County Community College.

.

Plans call for the work to produce two left-turn lanes from northbound Abbe Road to westbound Detroit to ease lengthy traffic backups of vehicles along Abbe.

The remaining four lanes will be divided between two straight-only lanes and two right-hand turn lanes going eastbound onto Detroit Road, according to Hunter.

Other improvements will include signaled crosswalks at traffic signals between Detroit Road and Antioch Drive, as well as a new traffic light at the entrance to Cobblestone Square by the Fifth Third bank branch and Gordon Food Service.

New 6-foot-wide sidewalks will go in on both sides of Abbe Road in the affected area. Those sidewalks will be illuminated, Hunter said.

In addition, an 8-foot bike path from Hoag Drive to the college’s northernmost entrance at Antioch Drive will be added on the east side of Abbe Road.

To make things easier for motorists and college students, much of the work is planned to occur overnight, Hunter said.

“We want to do most of the work during the time the college is (closed),” Hunter said.

In addition to the work in Sheffield, a nearly 600-foot length of Abbe Road inside Elyria will be widened from four to five lanes between Antioch Drive, the northernmost entrance into the LCCC campus, and the Elyria-Sheffield border.

And if that isn’t enough for Abbe Road, there’s another project — albeit smaller, but one that will create traffic headaches, too.

In Sheffield, the Abbe Road bridge over Interstate 90 will be replaced. The $2.5 million project is slated to begin May 1 and take four to six months to complete, Hunter said.

The bridge is entirely paid through federal and state transportation funds. The work will require the closing of Abbe Road to traffic between Detroit and French Creek roads. A detour is being worked out.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.