BY MIKE McCARTHY | MIRROR EDITOR — The $14 million Uptown Maumee Streetscape Improvements Project began in earnest this week as an excavation crew started tearing up sidewalks in the 300 block of Conant Street on Tuesday morning.
By Tuesday afternoon, large chunks of concrete had been removed from the entire eastern portion of the 300 block of Conant Street, from Maumee Valley Chocolate and Candies on the corner of Conant and East Wayne streets to Dale’s Bar & Grill on the corner of Conant and East Dudley streets.
Matthew Griggs, the city’s engineering inspection manager, and a supervisor from Helms & Sons Excavating Inc. (HSX) were on hand as the demolition work began on Tuesday.
The men explained that the project is getting off to a slightly later start than originally planned due to gas line relocation work that was being performed by Miller Pipeline for the past three weeks.
Miller Pipeline is now in its fourth week of a major gas line relocation project that stretched along the 100 block of West Dudley between Allen and Conant streets. New 6-inch gas pipes have been installed in that area with a portion of the pipeline being relocated from the street in the 100 block of West Dudley, near Jacky’s Depot, to the adjacent sidewalk in the same area.
Closer to the intersection of West Dudley and Conant streets, however, the opposite was done with the gas lines being relocated from beneath the sidewalk, near the Cigar Affair, to the adjoining street. The gas line work wrapped around the corner of Conant Street and ended near the front of Dibling Floor Covering at 321 Conant St.
HSX had to wait for the gas line work to be completed on Conant Street before the traffic lanes could be reconfigured for the demolition work to begin on the opposite side of Conant. Miller Pipeline finished the Conant Street portion of its work last week, clearing the way for HSX this week. Miller Pipeline expects to finish the remainder of its work in the 100 block of West Dudley Street by the end of this week.
With all this work taking place, what can residents and motorists expect in the coming months?
The demolition work will continue steadily in the 300 and 400 blocks of the east side of Conant Street, followed closely by storm sewer work, electrical work including hook-ups for food trucks and holiday lights, irrigation work for plant beds and trees, concrete preparation for curbs and light pedestals and finally, sidewalk installation. It is estimated that it will take about two months to finish the 300 and 400 blocks.
Each phase of work will follow the other, leapfrog-style, up to and including the corner of Conant and the Anthony Wayne Trail, near Fifth Third Bank. That should happen sometime in July if work schedules are maintained.
After the work near the Anthony Wayne Trail is completed, the construction work will move to the 100 block of Conant Street, near Union School. When that work is finished, the entire eastern side of Conant Street will be complete.
Construction work will then shift to the west side of Conant Street, near the Maumee Indoor Theater, between the Anthony Wayne Trail and West John Street, and will gradually proceed south along Conant all the way to the Ft. Meigs Memorial Bridge.
Extra care is being made to accommodate the uptown Independence Day festivities on July 3 and the Maumee Summer Fair on August 12-13.
The city’s plan is to have all the Conant Street construction work done by the end of this year. In 2023, the construction work will shift to street renovations in the east and west 100 blocks of Harrison, Broadway, Wayne, John, Dudley and William streets, in the second phase of the project.