Updated Thu, Jul 31, 2014 3:37 pm
Construction will continue on West Union Street this week, but the city is hoping the work will have minimal impact on the Athens County Fair, which begins Friday.
Work began on the corridor earlier this summer and is anticipated to be complete before Ohio University’s homecoming parade on Oct. 11, which utilizes Union Street as the parade route.
As the fair kicks off this week, Andy Stone, director of the Athens Department of Engineering and Public Works, says that most of the traffic associated with the event flows in from Route 56 and Shafer Street. He said that the Shafer Street intersection will remain open during fair week.
“We know that traffic volumes increase during the fair, particularly in the evenings,” Stone said. “We’re very cognizant of fair traffic.”
Construction work will continue on West Union east of Shafer Street, detouring traffic to Factory Street, Station Street and Depot Street.
Stone said the biggest component of the West Union Street project is replacing the 10-inch and 4-inch waterlines with a new 12-inch line. Depot Street will also be realigned to create a safer intersection. The project also calls for repairing curbs and sidewalks and eventual repaving and striping of the roadway.
Storm water runoff improvements are also part of the project.
There will be some construction on Shafer Street eventually this summer. Stone said a new traffic signal will be installed at the intersection, which will include a green arrow for those turning onto West Union Street. He said the signal will utilize video detection to determine when to provide a green arrow. Stone said similar technology is used at the intersection of Route 56 (West Union) and Route 682. The new signal may not be installed prior to Ohio University’s Homecoming week.