What to do when this Hamilton road closes for four months next week

Because River Road is so narrow (shown here, looking southward), Hamilton will close lanes in both directions as crews work on a construction project there. The work begins Monday, March 5. PROVIDED
Caption
Because River Road is so narrow (shown here, looking southward), Hamilton will close lanes in both directions as crews work on a construction project there. The work begins Monday, March 5. PROVIDED

City officials are closing down River Road for major construction on Monday, and they hope the closure will be just for four months. But that timeline may be difficult to meet because of all the work to be done, and the weather that may be encountered during that period, the city’s public works director, Rich Engle, told Hamilton City Council.

It will be a “full closure — although the contractor will be starting at the south end of the project,” Engle said.

The hoped-for reopening date is July 3.

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Showing the council an image of River Road, he said, “You can see how narrow the street is. That’s why we’re asking for full closure on the street, so that the contractor can perform his work as quickly as possible.”

“Keep in mind, there’s about $900,000 worth of work to be performed in that stretch between Fairview and St. Clair (avenues),” he said. (Storm-water) catch-basins have to be removed and replaced, there will be some storm-sewer work needed as well, curb will be removed and replaced, sidewalk will be removed and replaced, then finally, the asphalt will be milled and resurfaced.”

“That’s a lot of work to be done in a period of time, and that’s why we’re asking for no more than a four-month closure,” he added. “We expect it to be done before that, but again, we’re going into weather conditions over the next couple of months that may prevent the contractor from working as quickly as they can. Obviously, we don’t want concrete being poured when it’s pouring rain out.”

Asphalt and curbs are in bad condition along the roadway, including at South Riverview Drive, Chase Avenue and Corwin Avenue.

There will be an outer detour plan and another that’s within the construction area itself, Engle said.

Here is the city’s description of the detours for people not living in the immediate area: Motorists traveling south on Neilan Boulevard will be detoured east onto Knightsbridge Drive, south onto Pleasant Avenue (US 127), west onto St. Clair Avenue, and south onto River Road.

Meanwhile, those driving north on River Road will be detoured east onto St. Clair, north onto Pleasant (US 127), west onto Knightsbridge Drive, and north onto Neilan Boulevard.

Streets within those detour limits can be used for local traffic only. Motorists using River Road to commute are strongly encouraged to follow the described detour route.

“We really want to push people onto Knightsbridge and Pleasant Avenue, and then down to St. Clair, to get them around the outside of the construction zone,” Engle told the council. “But obviously, as local residents drive around, they’re going to try to find a route that takes them as close as possible to where the construction is, and then try and route around that.

With construction beginning in the southern portion, officials plan to keep Laurel Avenue open as long as possible — perhaps 30 days — Engle said: “We’ll try to keep that open as much as we can, but once the contractor reaches that point, then we’ll have to close that piece between Laurel and Williams (Avenue).”

Lindenwald-area residents are concerned about commuters speeding on Freeman Avenue, about two blocks to the east of River Road, so police will be on the lookout for speeders there, Engle said. The city also will work to resolve any other, unforeseen, concerns that arise during the construction, he said.

Officials said the schools and Fairfield had been made aware of the project so they could make adjustments as needed.

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