MEDINA — The first day of school is fast approaching, but the completion of the Guilford Boulevard culvert project is not.
Medina sent out a news release this week saying that recent rains caused a delay in the $833,000 project that includes replacing a culvert and bridge over Champion Creek, just south of East Smith Road.
Based on calls to the city, that news is not going over well with residents, some of whom have children attending Heritage Elementary School, 833 Guilford Blvd.
“As we’re getting closer to school, we’re getting more (calls),” City Engineer Patrick Patton said. “I know people are frustrated. We’re working as quickly as we can.”
On Wednesday, a Medina Schools spokesperson said the district still was working on a busing plan for the start of school Monday.
The project started June 6 and contractor Fabrizi Trucking & Paving Co., of Middleburg Heights, was scheduled to be finished in 63 days.
“We have not had much rain, but the runoff it produces has caused problems. A couple hours after it rains, the creek rises from all the other areas,” Patton said.
“It was just too much. You can’t dam up the whole thing.”
He said a half-inch of rain can cause a shutdown on the culvert work.
He said Fabrizi plans to submit a request for a contract extension due to weather delays. The city will review this request and determine if the extension should be granted, Patton said.
To alleviate some traffic issues, the city hopes to have one lane of traffic open on Guilford by next Wednesday. There will be traffic control flaggers in the morning and evening rush hours. During non-rush hours, a traffic light will cycle traffic through one direction at a time, the release said.
“One lane being open will be a big help,” Patton said. “It will allow people in there in the morning and evenings.”
The city recommends avoiding the construction area if it’s not necessary to travel on Guilford.
Patton said the entire road should be open the week of Aug. 27.
The city engineer said there’s not much that could have been done differently to ensure the project would be finished on time.
“We waited until school was out of session to get started (in June),” he said. “We didn’t want to interfere” with the end of the school year.
The 40-year-old bridge and culvert had become a safety concern, he said.
“We were afraid to let this go another year,” Patton said. “We had so many problems with it.
“We knew people would be frustrated, but we had to get it done.”
For more information on the Guilford project, call Patton at (330) 722-9034.
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