A main corridor into Port Clinton closes Monday for construction and remains closed until August.
Work on Fremont Road, which begins just after the State Route 53/State Route 2 exchange south of Port Clinton and runs to the city limits, is expected to last about 45 days, according to the county engineer’s office.
The section of road is under county jurisdiction. County officials last week posted a pending road closure sign.
“It is closed in name only. There will be some travel allowed through there — local residents getting to their homes and some other traffic. But we have to keep it to an absolute minimum. There are going to be flaggers but there are going to be delays. We just can’t put everybody through there or the crews would be stopping every 14 seconds,” Ottawa County Engineer Dave Brunkhorst said. “We don’t need everybody and their brother thinking they can sneak into town that way.”
The bulk of traffic will be guided through the construction via detours on Route 2. One detour enters Port Clinton on the west from Lakeshore Drive and the other comes in on Perry Street on the east end of town.
There is also the option of taking Wilcox Road, the utility road that runs parallel to Route 2 and comes into Port Clinton the back way via Fulton Street. Drivers can turn onto Wilcox Road just south of the 53/2 exchange.
Port Clinton is the county seat of Ottawa County and a lot of people travel there to conduct business on a daily basis. Plus, there is the added congestion from the heavy tourist traffic during the summer months to consider
The traffic situation is going to be messy for a while but it’s necessary, the engineer said.
The 45 days closure is the best estimate of time needed to complete the job. “We have a bit of a buffer built in,” Brunkhorst said.” We are expecting rain two or three days this week. If that keeps happening, it could cause some delay in completion,” he explained.
The county commissioners hired Precision Paving to do the job for $442,108.
The Fremont Road safety and improvement project has been in the planning stages for more than a year and half.
Work on the two-lane stretch includes milling down the present pavement, repaving the road surface and upgrading the drainage. After work is ended, there will also be a noticeable difference in the shoulder paving.
At present there is only a small shoulder section. A larger paved shoulder will help improve safety issues along the main thoroughfare, Brunkhorst explained when the project was in its infancy stages. That addition will help combat safety problems created when garbage trucks, semi-trucks and other large vehicles pull over to the side of the road.
The project is being paid for through an Ohio Public Works Fund and a matching sum from the county.