Sewer work leads to traffic detour

As anyone who has driven downtown may have noticed, there’s some construction going on.

The contractor for the south interceptor sewer project has closed the downtown parking lot to through traffic.

According to the city’s website, the east entrance, near Dollar General, will remain open to allow access to the area south of the work zone.

Harrison Street is closed due to the need to make a bore under the railroad tracks for the sewer line. The work includes installation of a trench box, a steel enclosure to protect workers as they make the bore and install the casing. During construction, the recommended detour is Silver Street and Water Street, according to city officials. Waste Water Superintendent Robert Burns anticipates the work under the railroad tracks could take up to 75 days.

Seemingly out of place is a “Road Work Ahead” sign on Defiance Street several blocks north of the project.

Safety-Service Director Bill Rains explained at Monday’s city council meeting that the sign was placed on the recommendation of the Ohio Department of Transportation.

The South Interceptor is the combined sewer that carries waste water along the river to the treatment plant. Its replacement is Phase 2 of the Long Term Control Plan of 2009.