November 28, 2014

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Traffic congestion to persist for months as Route 611 bridge project continues

Construction vehicles are parked Thursday near Interstate 90 and state Route 611 in Avon. KRISTIN BAUER/CHRONICLE

Construction vehicles are parked Thursday near Interstate 90 and state Route 611 in Avon. KRISTIN BAUER/CHRONICLE

AVON — The state Route 611 bridge enhancement project will have traffic tied up for at least another three to four months.

According to city Engineer Rob Knopf, construction crews are about halfway through the second phase of the project. The first phase, which began last August, included milling and resurfacing state Route 611 from Detroit Road to the intersection south of the bridge near BJ’s Wholesale Club.

Crews spent the last year performing pavement and concrete repairs, applying temporary pavement on the east side of the bridge, adjusting utilities, removing medians, performing earthwork, installing piers, abutments and sheeting and removing and replacing the east side bridge deck.

Crews recently removed the west side bridge deck and are in the initial stages of replacing it. When the bridge deck is installed, temporary pavement will be removed, final asphalt will be laid and new traffic signals and signs will be erected.

Traffic slowdowns have become commonplace on state Route 611 near Interstate 90.

“My advice to drivers is to try to use alternate routes and be patient — there will be traffic congestion in that area,” Knopf said. “This project is necessary for the Chester Road relocation work to be done.”

Sheffield Lake resident Ashley Frank, filling her car up at the Pilot gas station on Route 611 on Thursday, said she takes alternate routes to get to her mother-in-law’s home in Avon whenever possible.

“I avoid (611) frequently,” Frank said. “When I am here, what is supposed to be a five-minute drive turns into a 25-minute drive. When I’m trying to get to Avon, I take all the back routes.”

Truck drivers at the station filling up said they’ll be relieved when the work is finished. Neil Savage, a driver for Fed-Ex, said traffic light timing in the area, combined with impatient drivers, creates a fiasco.

“Getting in to fuel up isn’t bad,” Savage said. “But getting out is tough. Sometimes I’ll be sitting there for 20 or 30 minutes.”

Trucker Chris Windham said the work on state Route 611 isn’t too bad. Windham said he’s fortunate because he often stops at Pilot at 3 or 4 a.m. when traffic is nonexistent. When he happens to be there in the afternoon, it’s a different story.

“It’s the drivers that get wrapped up with construction and run lights because they are right behind somebody else and in a hurry that mess things up,” Windham said. “When this work first started, it was a nightmare even trying to get in here at night. But now things seem to be cleared up.”

Lake Erie Crushers general manager Rick Muntean said very few fans have made direct complaints about accessing the stadium.

“I just asked the staff how many complaints we’ve received and really it’s very minimal,” Muntean said. “If the fans are frustrated by the traffic, they are not expressing it to us.”

Muntean said the city of Avon has been cooperative with the stadium since the project started.

“We met with them in the preseason about the possibility of gridlock,” Muntean said. “On the major event nights, when we’ve alerted them we are going to have a huge crowd, they have had police officers out here to help.”

The city recently said it will delay the Chester Road relocation project, which will align Chester Road with Recreation Lane, until the bridge project is complete to avoid even more traffic congestion.

“Once the bridge is widened and Chester Road is connected to (Recreation Lane), it’s going to be great for us,” Muntean said.

The majority of the $4.3 million bridge project is funded through the Ohio Department of Transportation. Avon Finance Director Bill Logan said the city paid 16 percent of the total cost, or $675,000, from its general fund for the bridge project.

When completed, the bridge will be widened and sidewalks and bike paths will be added to both sides.

Contact Jon Wysochanski at 329-7123 or jwysochanski@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonWysochanski. 


  • oldruss

    Rome may not, as they say, have been built in a day; but it was built in less time than this Rt. 611 bridge replacement has taken; and, the bridge replacement is not finished yet.

    Rt. 611 is a major artery in and out of Lorain, which is otherwise well off the beaten path. Driving down Broadway from the So. Broadway-Middle Ridge/Rte 2 interchange is neither scenic nor particularly quick.

    Was there no completion timetable built into the construction contract, with sizeable penalties for missing the deadlines?

    • kingharles

      they’re not missing the deadlines. they’re actually ahead of schedule.

  • Lori Craycraft

    I work at the McDonald’s right there, and it can be a pain getting into and out of work, it would be nice to know when the completion is supposed to be done, it is killing business.

  • MrRespect

    The worst planning ever. Traffic sucks on Chester Rd. The Mayor needs to assign Police at the intersections of Chester and Rt. 83 near GetGo and at Chester and Route 611 before someone gets hurt! Do something because this is ridiculous!

  • kingharles

    my husband is working on this bridge. yes there are deadlines, and yes they are meeting them.

    • oldruss

      Construction started a year ago, and they still have three or four more months before completion, according to the city engineer. Those deadlines, such as they are, seem to be awfully generous.

      BTW–What is the name of the general contractor?

      • Simon Jester

        Mosser is the only one with a trailer. Good people.

        • oldruss

          Thanks for the info; apparently the Chronicle-Telegram did not think it was important to identify the contractor.

      • kingharles

        then take it up with the city. they were given a deadline and they are meeting it. actually, they’re ahead of schedule. but if you’d prefer the bridge get done quicker, they can just shut it down completely. good luck getting through then.

        • oldruss

          No skin off my nose whether they ever finish it or not. And, there’s no need to be “offended”, just because I dare question ANY public works contract, and find, too often as I do, that, regardless of the deadlines in the contracts, they seem to inevitably be exceeded; and with an excuse of bad weather, material shortage, work stoppage by suppliers, or some other “Act of God”, any one of which excuses the contractor’s delays and does nothing for the public who are inconvenienced.

          • kingharles

            I’m definitely not offended. But people don’t seem to understand construction in general, or what goes on. they just see it from the outside.

  • Otter

    I rarely see anyone working there….

    • Simon Jester

      They’re the ones with the heavy equipment, generally wearing hi-viz clothing and hard hats…

      Yes, it’s taking forever. I wonder why? Could it be that the .gov has made it so that construction can’t proceed efficiently?

      • kingharles

        you rarely see anyone working there? at what time? 3am? they are there every week. 7am-5pm. kinda hard to miss them….

        they were given a deadline. not from the company, but from the city. they are meeting the deadline for this bridge, they are not behind. if you’re unhappy with the deadline then take it up with the city because its what they were given.

        • Otter

          Sorry, I have driven through there several days, well within the 7am to 5pm time frame, there was no one working, and the weather was not an issue. I could care less about the deadline, and who is responsible for it.

          • kingharles

            those few days you drove through there, were probably the few days they were working nights.

          • Otter

            But did you not say they were there from 7am-5pm every week? Must have been one those strange coincidences, that I just happened to be driving through there several days, that coincided with the few times they were working nights.

          • kingharles

            yes, except for the few weeks they worked over nights. from like 6p-4a roughly. they worked like 2 or 3 weeks on nights, not consecutive weeks. why am I even explaining this to you? you obviously don’t understand so I’m pretty much just wasting time.

  • kingharles

    these guys are ahead of schedule… so everyone relax on the “deadlines” because they’re not behind. they were given a certain deadline requirement, and they’re meeting it. you can’t ask them to work “round the clock” because there is no point. no company is gonna pay their employees to work over time if they’re ahead of schedule. no one. if they were behind, they’d be working more. but they’re not. Mosser did NOT set the deadline. the city did. so if you have a problem with it, take it up with the city. not these guys. they have no control over it. and unless any of you have actually worked on/built a bridge, don’t throw out ridiculous comments without knowing what you’re actually talking about. this is a very dangerous job these men do. they have their lives and the lives of everyone else in their hands, let them do it safely. not rushed and theaten lives with an unsafe bridge.

    • stillsleepyeyes

      what is theaten?

      • kingharles

        god for bid I forgot an “R” …. all hell is gonna break loose. most people can figure out what I was saying….