BY MIKE McCARTHY | MIRROR EDITOR — Maumee residents and passing motorists were treated to a small glimpse of the future last week as the Uptown Maumee Streetscape Improvements Project reached its first milestone victory of 2022.
On Friday, major infrastructure work was completed on the east side of the 300 block of Conant Street and bright new sidewalks gleamed in the late afternoon sunlight as a shining testament to the improvements.
Workers from Helms Construction Inc. began pouring concrete sidewalks on Tuesday, June 21 at the corner of East Wayne and Conant streets in front of Maumee Valley Chocolate and Candy, and by Friday afternoon they were finishing up the corner of East Dudley and Conant streets in front of Dale’s Bar & Grill.
In those four days, the workers carefully applied the finishing touches on the concrete work to meet ADA standards while giving the 300 block a fresh, new look. Island areas were cut around the existing honey locust trees to allow plenty of room for flowers and fescue grass and a modern irrigation system.
A new, wider concrete apron located between the islands will allow for casual outdoor seating along the extended sidewalk once 3-foot-tall, protective iron railings are installed in the weeks ahead. There are 10 mature honey locust trees on the eastern side of the 300 block of Conant Street and there are now nine new concrete aprons created as potential gathering places.
Ten to 12 new parallel parking spaces have also been created on the east side of the 300 block of Conant Street, protected partially by the extended curbs designed to promote safer traffic speeds for passing vehicles.
With the work in the 300 block on Conant Street finished, workers from Helms Construction Inc. turned their attention to the east side of the 400 block of Conant Street this week, but soon ran into some major challenges.
The massive root system from the four trees bunched together in front of the former Citizens Bank building located at 422 Conant St. presented a headache for electrical workers who were trying to lay conduit in the large trench parallel to the street and just below the future sidewalk.
To contend with the root problem, workers employed a hydro-vac system, shooting highly pressurized water below the root system to dissolve the chunks of dirt below the roots, thus creating a new trench path in which to lay the conduit. The workers were able to finish the electrical work late Monday afternoon.
With that problem solved, Helms Construction workers started pouring new curbs in the eastern portion of the 400 block of Conant Street on Tuesday morning. They started their work at the corner of East Dudley and Conant streets in front of the Maumee Municipal Building and finished in the afternoon in front of the former Citizens Bank building at the corner of East John and Conant streets.
The plan for the rest of the week was to pour the approach way between the former bank building and the city building on Wednesday and to pour the corner sidewalks of East Dudley and Conant Street by Friday, in time to cure before the July 3 pre-fireworks party.
Sidewalks are expected to be poured in the 400 block of Conant Street next week before work moves north along Conant Street toward the Anthony Wayne Trail.