Sewer replacement project to cause road closures in village

WELLSVILLE – Residents of Wellsville and motorists through the village can expect traffic delays and road closures in the area around 10th Street for the next several weeks. The work going on behind those impediments should be of great benefit to people living in those areas, however.

Preliminary work on a long-awaited storm sewer replacement project, aimed at combating increasingly-severe flooding issues on 10th Street and in surrounding areas, commenced earlier this week. The project is being funded by a grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission.

Village administrator Thom Edgell says the work will begin in earnest this coming Monday, necessitating the closure of 10th Street between Commerce and Lisbon streets. Past Lisbon Street toward the state Route 7 overpass, traffic up the 10th Street Extension hill (Spring Hill) will be closed to the public. Downhill traffic will be permitted, however.

The intersections at Wood and 10th streets, Anderson Avenue and 10th Street, and Tiger Drive will also be closed.

Edgell anticipates that completion of the project will see these road closures in effect for, “two or three weeks at a minimum.” Exceptions will be made for emergency fire, police and ambulance traffic in all areas.

Though the major excavation will take place at the intersection of 10th and Commerce streets, Edgell says work crews will continue digging northward on Commerce Street. “That whole area will be sort of under construction,” he said, though it will not be closed off entirely during the project.

“Traffic will be maintained, and we’ll try to do the best we can to get people accommodated.”

Edgell anticipates that the project contractor, JCM Contracting of New Springfield, will erect a sign at the intersection of state Route 39 and 10th Street Extension in Yellow Creek Township warning motorists of the construction and road closure laying in their paths.

The new, larger-diameter storm sewer pipes are intended to better handle the volume of rainwater that comes off state Route 7, flows down Spring Hill, cascades down the 10th Street waterfall, and that simply falls and settles during heavy rains in the area of 10th Street. “It gets fed from about four or five different sources,” he said of the storm sewer infrastructure.

In addition to being old and plugged up in some areas, Edgell says the sewer lines that connect into one another are not uniform size, causing flow to be constricted under heavy volume. He also said that inspection of the pipes has revealed past construction methods that might be considered unsound. “They used old clothes for chinking around the smaller pipe to form a sealer,” he said.