Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Leavitt Road Gets Widened 1964-65 – Part 1

My post about O’Hara’s yesterday mentioned the paving of Leavitt Road in the 1960s, so it’s a good time for this historical material. It’s all about the transformation of Leavitt Road into a four-lane highway.

As we know, the widening eventually led to the whole Massacre Mile concern.

The article below appeared in the Journal on March 9, 1964.

Leavitt Rd. Repaving
Due For August Start
Concrete Expected For Road

Reconstruction to transform Rt. 58 (Leavitt Rd.) into a four-lane highway is expected to start in August, according to Donald H. Timmer, director of the Ashland Division of the State Highway Department.

Timmer said contracts for the project, estimated at $1,908,000, probably will be awarded July 1 at Columbus.

Although the original specifications for Lorain’s section of construction called for asphalt, the entire route will be paved of nine-inch deep reinforced cement concrete.

"Amherst said it wanted concrete right from the beginning,” Timmer said. “The job was going to be all asphalt or all concrete.”

Timmer said Lorain went along with Amherst on the choice of material.

Other sources said Lorain was “pressured” into accepting concrete.

Timmer felt there was no coercion used on Lorain to change the specifications.

Mayor Mathna denied that Lorain was forced to accept concrete. Charles Waryu, a first assistant city engineer, said the choice of material is made by the Federal Bureau of Public Roads and the State Highway Department.

He said the composition of the land has to be considered when deciding whether asphalt or concrete will be used on a road.

According to Waryu, the initial cost of using either material is the same. He added that it is debatable as to which material would cost more to maintain after a highway is completed.

“Lorain is not losing anything by the use of concrete,” Timmer said. “No corners will have to be cut because of it.”

Amherst recently passed an ordinance that all new construction in the city will be of concrete.

In Lorain’s portion of the road, curbs and gutters will be installed south from 611, a distance of 1,302 feet. Mathna said postcards were sent to abutting property owners asking them if they wanted curbs and gutters.

According to the mayor, all owners who answered do not want to pay the cost of installing them on the 1, 302 foot section.

Assessments to all the property owners will be the same, whether or not they have curbs and gutters installed in front of their homes.

Amherst residents voted to have curbs and gutters placed the complete distance of that section, which is .69 of a mile. This extends from Rt. 254 south to North Ridge Rd.

Lorain’s section, 2.36 miles, extends from Rt. 254 south to Rt. 611. The whole route will be 48 feet wide from curb to curb when completed.

For a distance of 500 feet north of Rt. 611, there will be salvage construction to widen the road to 41 feet. Seventy feet north of this, the road will narrow down to 34 feet at the railroad crossing.

Curbs and gutters already have been installed in this total distance of 570 feet. They will be moved to the sides during the widening.

Lorain will have open ditches with paved shoulders where the specifications do not call for curbs and gutters. City Engineer Clark King said the ditches will average two feet in depth, and some of them will be four feet deep.

This city’s section of project will cost about $1,437,000, Timmer said. The Amherst portion is estimated at $471,000.

The Federal Government will pay 50 percent of the cost. Lorain will pay 15 percent of the cost estimated for its section, and Amherst will finance 5 percent of its own section.

The state will make up the difference in cost, which is 35 percent in Lorain and 45 percent in Amherst.

Contracts for the widening will be awarded as one job, Timmer said. He expects the project will be completed one year after work starts.

Tomorrow: Dedication of the new Leavitt Road

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gotta love the detailed description of the road materials, dimensions and cost.