OBERLIN – The city is asking motorists to avoid the intersections of Main and Lorain streets, if possible, while improvements are completed.
The majority of the construction is expected to be completed by Memorial Day, according to City Manager Eric Norenberg. He said motorists should be aware that there may be traffic tie-ups during busy traffic hours.
“Be sensitive if you’re in a hurry and you have an alternate route, than use another street,” he said.
The project, which initially was discussed by City Council three years ago, is intended to improve pedestrian and vehicular movements through the intersection.
A June 2010 Safe Routes to School Engineering Study found a lack of pedestrian crossing devices creates potentially dangerous conditions, prompting the city to look at ways to improve the intersection.
Curb enhancements will extend pedestrian crossing times by 1.5 to 2.5 seconds, and pedestrian crossing countdown indicators will be put in place, according to a report from City Public Works Director Jeff Bauman.
As part of the project, new ramps in each direction will be installed for the mobility impaired, as well as individual poles, mast arms and signals in all directions to make the intersection more evident to drivers.
The poles will be installed in July, after the majority of the construction is finished, with a final estimated completion date of Aug. 8.
Norenberg said LED traffic lights, scheduled to be installed, are more energy-efficient. The devices will be electronically controlled to work out timing issues.
“The goal is how can we make more trucks and cars move through the intersection,” he said.
The cost of the project is approximately $246,217 to the Oberlin Municipal Light and Power System and $163,285 from the Public Works’ Income Tax Capital Improvement Fund. The project received an $84,399 grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission, according to the city.
City Council awarded a contract for construction to A.J. Riley of Norwalk, not to exceed $493,901.08.