Central Avenue at McCord Road will be closed beginning Saturday, November 6, through Tuesday, November 9. This marks the end of the Phase I sewer work that has torn up Sylvania streets, though Phase II is already in the works.
"This is the final leg of that project, and the most invasive part of it in terms of the traveling public," says Joseph E. Shaw, P.E., P.S., City of Sylvania Deputy Director of Public Works. "We're closing a road that gets 40,000-45,000 cars a day. But once the work under Central is done, that's the last phase of the project and it's finished. There will button up work to do, some pavement restoration work that will need to be done, and they'll restore some of the grass areas that were disturbed, especially up by US 23, but the traveling public will really see them gone by mid-November "
Shaw says the current sewer project is good maintenance, and should keep the sewer in good working order for another fifty years.
"We thank our residents for their patience, I know it's been tough at times, navigating traffic, and stuff like that," says Shaw. "But a little bit of inconvenience is certainly better than a lot of inconvenience. If we were to dig and replace this thing it would be an 18-month project."
Shaw says that the weather has affected the entire project, and if Sylvania gets a massive rain two days before the November 6 closure, it will probably move that date. Other than the rain, Shaw says things have been going smoothly.
"It's actually gone really well," Shaw says of the Phase I project. "We've had a couple of hiccups here and there, with some questions and some upset people, but it happens with every project. For the most, part it's gone really well."
However, there was one accident during the project.
"On Sylvania Avenue east of McCord, we were in lining operations that day, and a gentleman who was coming eastbound on Sylvania Avenue fell asleep at the wheel," Shaw recalls. "He apparently suffers from narcolepsy, and he ran into our lining truck."
Shaw says that the work truck had to be taken out of service, but the crew was not injured.
"We were actually very, very fortunate that nobody was killed. He hit the truck going full speed, 35-40 miles per hour," Shaw says. He believes the driver was transported to the hospital with superficial injuries. "Thank God, if there was anyone in the truck it could have been bad. But they were all up at the front part of the operation, so it was good luck I guess that nobody got hurt, other than the driver. "
As Phase ! wraps up, Phase II is already getting underway, with the bidding process open to contractors.
"Phase II will go from Eaglehurst and Sylvania Avenue, up Eaglehurst, onto Lancelot, " Shaw says. "That will be in 2022, there is no set date as of yet for when the contractors will start. They could come in in the spring, they could come in in the fall, it's just how things work into their schedule."
Shaw foresees the impact on drivers to be much less with Phase II.
"The good part is that it's in more residential areas, so the impact will be mostly to those folks, and their impact won't be that much at all. There may be a small maintenance of traffic that we have to do, like at the intersection of Sylvania and Eaglehurst, but for the most part this one will be much, much, much, less invasive, from a traffic perspective, than the first phase."
Once Phase II is complete, Sylvania's sewer system should be good to go for decades to come. The system getting the rehabilitation work now was originally put in during the 1970s, when Sylvania's waste water switched directions.
"Our waste water used to go to Toledo, down Laskey to Talmadge," Shaw explains. "In the 70's, the new sewer system was put in so we could pump it to Maumee instead. The pump station for Sylvania is behind Burger King on Monroe Street. It gets pumped to where Eaglehurst and Lancelot is, and then it flows by gravity the rest of the way down Sylvania Avenue, McCord, and then ultimately to Central Avenue. Central Avenue is where our service area ends and the County service area picks it up. They take our sewage all the way down McCord Road and then ultimately to the County's plant, near Fallen Timbers, on the river."
For those who may have heard the news of serous sewer troubles for Sylvania's neighbors to the south, Shaw explains why what happened in Maumee could never happen here.
"Maumee has a combined sewer system, storm water and waster water co-mingle with each other," explains Shaw. "Those systems usually have designated overflows, where they are allowed to discharge a certain amount of waste, given whatever the EPA tells you that you can do. It looks like Maumee, for years, was supposed to be addressing those overflows or eliminating them. I'm not privy to what they do, but that is how their system operates. They can pretty much take most of everything, but on really big rain events they probably can't and that's when they overflow into the Maumee river."
Sylvania, on the other hand, has completely separate systems for waste water and storm water.
"We are fortunate that we have a completely different system than Maumee," Shaw says. "Maumee is a lot older than we are, truthfully, so that's what they did back in the 1800s. We're fortunate we don't have to manage a system like that."
Ten Mile Creek is storm water drainage only, no waste water makes its way into the stream. It's fed with run-off from agricultural fields to the west of Sylvania. Farm tiles, field drainage, and roadway drainage ends up conveying across Sylvania through the creek, eventually working its way through Sylvania and into Toledo where it becomes to Ottawa River.
Contact Joe Shaw with questions or concerns at 419-885-8967. Also see additional resources below.
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