Three major projects are nearing completion along Elmwood Avenue. Repairs and upgrades to the Elmwood Bridge are almost complete. UR Facilities is finishing up a project that stretched a second chilled water line across Elmwood Avenue, and a milling and resurfacing project on Elmwood Avenue will be completed when the road is paved next week.

The Elmwood Bridge project has completed all work on the top side of the bridge, and all that remains for work crews to complete is some additional railing work. The trail underneath the bridge reopened on Wednesday. This project, which is administered by the City of Rochester but is funded mostly by state and federal grants, is being completed on schedule.

“For the most part, it turned out pretty well,” City Construction Project Manager John Standinger said.

The land between the bridge and the pump house on the east bank of the river is UR property, but the city offered to pay for improvements on this strip as part of the project.

A major component of the work has been the addition of overlooks along the side of the bridge.

“I think the bridge looks a lot better,” University Architect Paul Tankel said. “When we have the regatta, it’ll be great for that.”

Some additional work on bridge bearings will be required next spring, but some of this work has been completed during this phase.

Meanwhile, UR has been working to extend a second chilled water supply and return line to Strong Medical Center from the university’s power plant. The project was started earlier this year, and the extension of the 30-inch pipes across Elmwood Avenue was the last phase in the project. The project was started in February, in order to coincide with the least demand for chilled water on campus.

UR crews were out of the road by Friday, Sept. 12. There are only a few final connections left to be made.

“Those were some pretty big pipes [we] put across Elmwood Avenue,” UR Director of Central Utilities and Energy Management David Weed said. “All things considered, it turned out pretty well.”

The paving project on Elmwood Avenue has required the top part of the avenue to be shaved off and realigned. This has influenced traffic the most. If the weather permits it, it is hoped that the entire project will be completed in the coming weeks.

The project, under the supervision of the City of Rochester Department of Environmental Services’ Bureau of Architecture and Engineering, actually addresses a number of issues on the street. In addition to the repaving, any curbs that needed repairs were fixed, manholes and line accesses were brought even with the street and the left turn lane onto Kendrick Boulevard was extended.

The city has worked to minimize the impact of the project.

“Because of traffic issues, we milled it at night,” City Construction Project Manager Jim Cortina said, adding that repaving would also be done late at night.

The first part of the paving project is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 22. This will finish the paving from South Avenue to Mt. Hope Avenue. The area between Mt. Hope Avenue and Wilson Boulevard will be paved shortly thereafter.

Crews were hoping to start tonight or tomorrow night, but the uncertainty of weather from the Hurricane Isabel system forced them to delay paving until after the weekend. Paving is the last major part of the project, and as soon as it is complete the rest of the project should finish quickly.

“If plans break down or a piece of equipment breaks down, we might be delayed,” Cortina said.

The start of the resurfacing project was delayed slightly by UR’s chilled water line project. The extension of the line could not start until July 1, and it was supposed to be finished by the middle of that month but ran into a series of delays and problems.

“[The city] actually tried to work along with our schedule,” Tankel said.

The city had hoped to have Elmwood done by the time most students returned to school.

Brown can be reached at cbrown@campustimes.org.



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