Road project set to begin

SALEM — Motorists who use state Route 45 to enter Salem from the south or use the intersection at East Pidgeon Road and Lincoln Avenue can likely expect delays this summer after the intersection improvement project kicks off on Monday.

In a recent press release, the Ohio Department of Transportation announced plans to begin work at the intersection of state Route 45 (East Pidgeon Road) and South Lincoln Avenue, calling for widening the intersection, adding turning lanes and reconstructing existing signals for safety.

The intersection has been a challenge for tractor trailers trying to make the turn either from East Pidgeon Road to Lincoln or from Lincoln to East Pidgeon Road.

The project is starting a couple weeks earlier than originally scheduled, with traffic to be maintained, either utilitizing the existing signals or flaggers. Marucci & Gaffney Excavating Co. of Youngstown will serve as contractor for the project with a cost of $944,759 and an expected completion date of Oct. 31.

The state had approached the city about moving its utility lines and gave the utilities department until May 1 to get the work done.

City Utilities Superintendent Don Weingart said Wednesday that the city had finished its project recently, with the exception of reseeding the grass. Utility Contracting had to move sections of two sanitary sewer lines about 5 feet to the west on state Route 45 from Southridge Drive to the intersection at Pidgeon Road to make way for the state project. The city also had to relocate three manhole covers.

The low bid on the project was $59,717, which was below the estimate of $73,500 from Howells & Baird Engineering, to be paid with city wastewater funds.

The sewer lines were originally built on the state’s right-of-way with the state’s permission but with the understanding that the state could come along and want them moved if the property was needed for a highway project. When ODOT approached about the intersection widening and turning lane installation, the city had no choice but to move the sewer lines, at the city’s cost.