Section of W. Commerce will close March 4 downtown

By David Skolnick

By David Skolnick


A second phase of a major downtown sewer- replacement project starts today with lane restrictions followed by closures to vehicular traffic beginning March 4.

Vehicles will not be allowed on West Commerce Street between Hazel Street and Wick Avenue for about four months after the March 4 closure.

Because of the sewer project, the North Phelps Street entrance to a city-owned parking lot on Commerce between Phelps and Wick Avenue will also be closed, effective March 4, with a temporary entrance on Commerce. The Phelps entrance will reopen when this phase of the project is done, said Charles Shasho, deputy director of the city’s public works department.

The $1 million storm- and sanitary-sewer replacement project along Phelps Street between West Federal Street and Lincoln Avenue started Feb. 4.

West Federal at Phelps was closed to vehicular traffic beginning that day with West Federal between Hazel and Market street, one of the busiest downtown roads, restricted to local traffic for 15 days.

Some business owners on West Federal near Phelps complained last week to The Vindicator that city officials didn’t notify them of the road closure and restrictions before the project commenced.

That led Mayor Charles Sammarone to suspend Shasho for one day without pay for failing to inform all business owners affected by the project.

Shasho said Friday that he has informed all business owners on West Commerce between Hazel and Wick about the project and road closure. Also, information about the closure is on the city’s website:

What’s left is sewer work on Phelps, between West Federal and West Commerce — that section, closed to traffic Feb. 4, remains blocked off — as well as the replacement of a pedestrian walkway between West Commerce and West Wood streets with sewer replacements under the walkway continuing north and ending at Lincoln Avenue.

The entire project should be done in August, Shasho said.

The $1 million project is to replace a brick sewer line that is at least 100 years old and in bad shape along Phelps, Shasho said.

About three years ago, the city replaced storm and sanitary sewers on Phelps between West Federal and West Front streets that closed traffic in that area.

Meanwhile, the Ohio Department of Transportation will close Elm Street between Saranac Avenue and Tod Lane to vehicular traffic on March 4, the same day the city closes a section of West Commerce, for a $2.3 million project to replace the Elm Street Bridge between those streets.

The project will keep that North Side street closed to motorists through mid-November, according to an ODOT statement.

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