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September 29, 2023

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Main Street under construction

Construction projects on North Main Street will continue to slow down traffic for most of the summer.

The first project, currently detouring traffic on North Main Street between Dill Avenue and Oak Street, is anticipated to run until the beginning or middle of May at the latest. Immediately following, another project will start in June that could run until August.

The first of the roadwork began in mid-February, said Lori Tretter, assistant municipal administrator in Bowling Green.

“We are building a new water line,” Tretter said. “It will replace an existing water line.”

The existing 4-inch water line will be swapped for a 12-inch line which was deemed better for fire protection, said City Engineer Brian O’Connell. The project originally ran from Clay Street to Dill Street, but had to be extended to Oak Street due to leaking valves in the area.

O’Connell said several scenarios were run through a model of the water distribution system. Through the tests, it was determined the 12-inch line would be better for firefighters.

“There was some concern about the available fire capacity; they might have had to go to a different fire hydrant to fight off a fire in that area,” O’Connell said.

The other issue is that ductile iron water lines, such as the 4-inch line the city currently has, can develop a build-up of rust and minerals that cause a line’s inside diameter to decrease.

“It might be one or two inches after all of the corrosion and build-up on the inside wall of the pipes,” O’Connell said. “Over time they lose their ability to provide adequate water pressure or water service to customers.”

Water-line replacement is not the only construction affecting North Main Street.

“Our electric division is also replacing all of the wood poles along North Main Street,” O’Connell said. “That work will be done within the next few weeks.”

The goal is to be able to switch over without any outages, O’Connell said.

For the final construction project, expected to begin in June, workers will repave the area between Clay and Dill streets.

Norwalk-based Smith Paving and Excavation Inc. will add new asphalt and pavement as well as build new sidewalks, curbs and curb ramps.

The re-pavement, which will likely be done in stages, is expected to reduce traffic to one lane northbound and one lane southbound, O’Connell said.

He said they have not been given a schedule yet, but the contractor has been told the project must be finished by Aug. 31.

Senior Megan Burwell said she finds the construction inconvenient, but understands it has to be done.

She said it might have been a better idea to wait until students left for the summer to reduce traffic.

“If it needs to be done, then it needs to be,” Burwell said. “If it’s a problem that can’t be avoided, it should probably be done.”

O’Connell said the paving project will hopefully be the last in that area for awhile.

 ”When our paving contractor begins, the idea is that we won’t be back to that portion of Main Street for many, many years,” he said.

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