REMAIN BUSY THROUGHOUT SOGGY CONSTRUCTION SEASON
Crews get creative in work sequencing, time management
ODOT crews in Paulding County
completed emergency drainage repairs on state Route 637, just north of
Grover Hill, last month. (above) Van Wert County ODOT crews repaired berm
throughout the county, including on state Route 709 near Venedocia.
LIMA, Ohio (June 27, 2019) – As rain falls throughout the
Midwest, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) District 1
maintenance and construction crews continue to work around standing
water and soggy conditions this construction season.
contracted projects have seen weather-related delays, especially those
near swollen ditches and waterways. High water, for example, has set
back drainage work along state Route 81 near Elgin in Van Wert County
and provided new challenges to work on the Clinton Street bridge
project in downtown Defiance.
you’re up against high water, the water usually wins,” said Chris
Hughes, ODOT District 1 deputy director. “We definitely want crews out
of harm’s way when conditions are unsafe. But we’ve been able to get
creative in completing work on the Clinton Street bridge project,
focusing a lot of our time on the work along the banks when we can’t
work in the river itself.”
When the Maumee River
remained too high, crews were able to work ahead on bridge abutment
walls, beat seats, retaining walls and storm sewers around the Clinton
Street bridge. Work on those elements is mostly ahead of schedule, so
there is potential that some lost time in the river can be made up later
in the project.
Heavy rains also have
interrupted maintenance work plans, forcing crews to patrol highways
around the clock for high water and maintain traffic around closed
highways in addition to performing regular preservation projects. When
flood events are over, maintenance crews must then visually inspect
affected roadways and bridges, replace roadside berm stone and clean
drainage structures in each county.
Rainfall most heavily
affected Paulding, Putnam and Van Wert counties in ODOT District 1 this
spring, where crews spent approximately 1,384 hours on flood-related
activities in the month of May alone. Total flood-related costs in the
three counties were just shy of $118,000.
In mid-May, excessive
water collapsed a drainage tile and opened a small void under state Route
637 just north of Grover Hill in Paulding County. Crews closed the road
on a Sunday and had the area fixed and the highway reopened less than a
“This season has
provided good exercise of our flexibility, efficiency and time management
skills. Our maintenance crews have dedicated a large chunk of time to
keeping motorists safe during and after floods, but they have completed
their regularly scheduled projects, as well,” Hughes said. “We try to
make the most of every dry day we get to complete culvert replacements,
pavement repairs and roadside mowing that the weather delayed.”
Though their schedule
was reconfigured due to high water, ODOT highway technicians in Hancock
County finished six culvert replacements in the month of June on state
Route 235, U.S. 224 and state Route 37, some of which were completed in
just a few days to avoid rain and further delays.
In Wyandot County,
maintenance crews will begin work after Independence Day to replace a
60-inch by 36-inch box culvert under state Route 103 between the villages
of Sycamore and Carey. Because the project will be completed by ODOT’s
own maintenance forces, it will result in a cost-savings to the
ODOT District 1 serves
Allen, Defiance, Hancock, Hardin, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert and Wyandot
counties in northwest Ohio.
The Ohio Department of Transportation maintains the state's
largest man-made asset – the transportation system. ODOT's mission is to
provide the safe and easy movement of people and goods from place to
place. As a $2.8 billion per year enterprise, ODOT invests the bulk of
its resources in system preservation through maintenance, construction
and snow and ice operations.