July 24, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Smooth finish around Medina’s Public Square

Jet-black asphalt of the newly repaved state Route 18 stands out vividly in this aerial shot of Medina’s Public Square. Pavement markings indicating turning lanes and parking spaces are the final touches needed to complete the project, which caused traffic headaches through much of the summer. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY BRUCE BISHOP)

Motorists traveling through downtown Medina have a special reason to be grateful this Thanksgiving: The repaving projects and water line replacement work that tied up traffic for months this summer are all but finished.

Drivers in and around Medina faced delays and detours on state Routes 18 and 57 — which both pass through Public Square — because of a $2 million repaving project by the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell said Friday the only work remaining is some pavement markings indicating turning lanes and parking spaces along Public Square.

That should be complete by next Friday, assuming the weather cooperates.

Hanwell said he was pleased with the work.

“The finished product is, I think, excellent,” he said. “The roads are very smooth … I couldn’t be happier.”

The repaving project was part of the Urban Paving Program through the Federal Highway Administration, which provides money annually for state and federal road maintenance and is administered by the ODOT.

The project cost was split, with the state paying 80 percent and the city paying 20 percent. Medina’s share of the bill was $400,000.

The mayor acknowledged the project caused motorists headaches and promised to take steps to avoid some the problems next summer, when more road work is scheduled.

Hanwell said he wants shorter work zones and smoother traffic control.

“We’re going to make some improvements on that for next year,” he said.

Hanwell said he met with ODOT and agreed to have a discussion about next year’s projects among the city, county and state to arrange better coordination.

Next year, ODOT plans to resurface state Route 3 and U.S. Route 42, which also pass through Medina’s Public Square.

Hanwell said the project will resurface Route 3 north of the square and Route 42 headed south as far as Harding Street.

Traffic congestion from this year’s repaving project was made worse when some of the city’s water lines also were being worked on and a county bridge repair project shut down part of East Smith Road, west of River Styx Road.

One portion of the replacement of century-old water lines along the north side of the square was put on hold while the repaving work was done.

“We delayed the work on that block from Broadway to Court Street along Liberty Street during the repaving, because that would have shut down both the north and south sides of the square, and just made everything a lot worse,” Hanwell said.

Fechko Excavating will begin installing the new water lines next week.

Hanwell said the job will be finished in time for the Candlelight Walk on Nov. 22.

Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or dpompili@medina-gazette.com.