Water & sewer district marks silver anniversary with open house including regional water update

From NORTHWESTERN WATER & SEWER DISTRICT This year The Northwestern Water and Sewer District celebrates 25 years of Operation!  We would like to invite you to join us for fun, food and more at our annual Open House. WHAT: 25 YEARS OF OPERATION: THE DISTRICT OPEN HOUSEWHEN: SUNDAY, MAY 5, 2019 1-4 p.m.WHERE: The District, 12560 Middleton Pike, Bowling Green, Ohio 435402COST: FREE **UPDATE ON REGIONAL WATER** There will be a presentation at 2 p.m. featuring the latest on regional water discussions including the latest on the Toledo, Bowling Green, and Michindoh water options.Please RSVP, at publicinfo@nwwsd.orgJoin us for a tour of our main facility as our friendly staff shares how they take care of our water!  See a live demo from our ops challenge team, water tastings, and check out displays from The District and Ohio EPA on how you can help protect our water.  Alongside our fleet, the Historical Construction Equipment Association will showcase their equipment from back in the day! The entire family can enjoy the day having fun while they explore our bounce houses, catch fish in our pond, sit for a caricature portrait, and take part in the kiddie tractor pull from the Power of Yesteryear. If you are hungry, there’s plenty of food.  Join us for a barbeque style lunch, plus Mr. Melon’s smoothie treats are back.  New this year, enjoy some Olde Tyme Kettle Korn and Frank’s Famous French Fries.  Don’t forget the great door prizes.  Hope to see you at The District Open House!

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Gas smell forces evacuation of downtown BG businesses (updated)

Several businesses in the 100 block South Main Street in downtown Bowling Green have been evacuated because of a heavy odor of gas. They include Coyote Beads, Grounds for Thought, and Lahey Appliance & TV. (The businesses were back in operation on Friday.) Owners of all three said Columbia Gas teams were in their stores working on gas lines today. Laura Wicks, of Grounds for Thought, said that she noticed the smell shortly before 6 p.m. A Columbia Gas employee was on the scene, and told her and Gayle Walterbach of Coyote Beads that he needed to call in more help to handle the problem. Both women were complaining of headaches. Patrons from Grounds for Thought were waiting outside both in the front and rear of the businesses. Columbia Gas is in the process of replacing gassiness throughout the downtown.

Roundabout work at I-75 & East Wooster gets underway

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS A major project is set to begin that will convert the intersection of I-75 and East Wooster Street/State Route 64 to a single-lane roundabout, the Ohio Department of Transportation has announced. By the time the work is completed in July 2019, there will also be a new path across the highway for walkers and bikers, a new bridge deck and aesthetic features to beautify the area. Through Sept. 3, there will be two lanes westbound and one eastbound on Wooster between Alumni Drive and Dunbridge Road, and some overnight lane restrictions on I-75 between Poe Road and Napoleon Road. On Sept. 4, a 14-day closure of the southbound ramp from I-75 to Wooster will begin. East Wooster will go down to one lane in each direction and overnight lane restrictions on the highway will be in force. Closure of the northbound I-75 ramp to and from Wooster Street will take place in the spring. During the project, pedestrian access will be maintained but there may be sidewalk restrictions on East Wooster. View a timeline and details at the project website.

County moves money to pay for roads and bridges

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   In March, Wood County Engineer John Musteric reported that the county’s roads and bridges were in dire condition. They suffered from too many repairs needed and not enough funding. That announcement sent the Wood County Commissioners on a search for county funds that could be moved over for road and bridge improvements. And on Monday, the commissioners reported that they had come up with nearly $6.5 million to be used during the next five years to build and repair county bridges and roads. “We look forward to much progress in improving our roads and bridges,” Commissioner Doris Herringshaw said during a press conference announcing the funding. Herringshaw said it was clear that the county engineer’s office would never catch up with road and bridge repairs under the current funding system. The commissioners agreed earlier this year to enact a new $5 vehicle license fee, with the revenue going to road and bridge work. But Herringshaw said it was clear that wouldn’t generate enough funding to meet the needs. The county roads and bridges are at a crisis, Musteric said this past spring. “We’ve been in a crisis mode for a long time. We’ve got so much to take care of and maintain.” The county has 245 miles of roads to maintain, plus 441 bridges with an average age of 41 years. More than 20 bridges have passed the century mark, with the granddaddy of them all being the 133-year-old bridge on Custar Road south of Sand Ridge Road.“We’re way behind, way behind,” Musteric said in March. But the newly found funding will help, he said Monday. The road and bridge funding will come from the following sources: – One-time transfer of $1.8 million from Wood County Building Inspection cash balance. – One-time transfer of $300,000 from the conveyance fee that funds county economic development. – One-time transfer of $100,000 from the Wood County Clerk of Courts’ auto title fund. – $200,000 each year for five years from county sales tax revenue. – $650,000 annually from the new $5 vehicle license fee. Musteric said much of the funding will be spent on the road and bridge needs south of U.S. 6, where safety has become an issue. “These are your roads. I’m here to protect them and improve them,” he said. Nearly three-quarters of the county’s road conditions are currently rated marginal or…

ODOT paves way for road, bridge work in Wood County

By JAN LARSON McLAUGLIN BG Independent News   Summertime – the season of vacations, longer days, and often long delays or detours due to road construction. “Orange barrels. Everybody’s favorite,” said Phil Senn, area engineer for the Ohio Department of Transportation District 2, as he told the Wood County commissioners Tuesday about projects planned in the county. “We’ve got a lot going on,” Senn said. Following is a list of ODOT bridge projects in Wood County this year: Waterville bridge replacement at Ohio 64 and Ohio 65, costing $14 million, with a completion date of September 2020. A 45-day closure of the bridge began on June 18 for construction of a roundabout on the Wood County side. Wooster Street over Interstate 75, in Bowling Green, with plans to convert the intersections to roundabouts, costing $9.6 million. The project, which includes redecking the bridge over I-75, and sanitary sewer and waterline work, will be completed November 2019. Ohio 281 over I-75, south of Bowling Green, involving a bridge deck replacement, costing $1.1 million. The bridge is open now, and all work should be completed next month. Ohio 579 bridge replacements over Dry Creek and Cedar Creek, costing $1.6 million, to be completed this October. CSX railroad bridge by the Ohio Turnpike will be demolished, costing $2.2 million, to be completed June 2019. Road resurfacing projects in Wood County this year include: U.S. 20 paving from East Boundary Street to Lime City Road, costing $3.4 million, to be completed in August; a new traffic signal at Thompson Road; sidewalk extension from Holiday Inn to Heartland driveway. The Route 20 paving work is complete except for land striping. Ohio 25 paving from Jefferson Street to south of Roachton Road, costing $3.4 million. The paving is complete, but striping must be finished. Ohio 199 paving from Ohio 105 to Niederhouse Road, costing $664,000, to be complete in October. Route 579 paving from Ohio 51 to Ottawa County line, costing $1.6 million, to be done in October. ODOT is planning the following intersection construction work in Wood County: Left turn lane to be added on eastbound Route 20 to Route 163, costing $850,000, to be completed in November. Roundabout on Route 199 at Carronade Drive, costing $1 million, was completed in March. Roundabouts on Buck Road at Lime City Road, and Buck Road at Penta Center Drive, costing $3.3 million, to be completed in October…

Waterville bridge closure to limit links to Lucas County

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Motorists who already find the Waterville bridge over the Maumee River to be a headache will want to steer clear of the area starting next week. The bridge between Wood and Lucas counties will be closed starting Monday, June 11, for an estimated 45 days. During that time, the three-way stop on the Wood County side of the bridge will be turned into a roundabout. “Everything is weather dependent,” said Kelsie Hoagland, public information specialist with ODOT District 2. “I think they built that schedule with that in mind.” The Ohio Department of Transportation is replacing the structure with a wider bridge. The project will also include the installation of the roundabout at the Ohio 64-Ohio 65 intersection in Wood County, plus dedicated left turn lanes in both directions at the Ohio 64/Mechanic Street and River Road intersection on the Waterville side. The new bridge will have one 12-foot driving lane in each direction with 4-foot shoulders; one protected 12-foot shared use path on the north side/downstream; and one protected 7-foot sidewalk on the south side/upstream. The bridge will also have five observation platforms, lighting and see-through railings. The decision to build the new bridge south/upstream of the existing structure was based upon multiple factors including environmental and historical considerations, cost, public opinion and length of closure, according to ODOT. The project is being built for $13 million by Miller Brothers Construction Inc. The physical work on the site began in February with the clearing of trees and building a portion of the causeway from the Wood County side. The roundabout construction is scheduled to be complete by August. Then in 2019, the building of the bridge from the Lucas County side will start. The bridge is expected to be completed in the fall of 2019. A weekend closure will be needed, from 7 p.m. on a Friday to 6 a.m. on a Monday, to complete the pavement tie-in of the new bridge. Demolition of the old Waterville bridge is expected to be completed in the fall of 2020. According to ODOT, the bridge closure this summer was scheduled to accommodate school schedules. Roads will be open for the annual Roche de Boeuf Festival in Waterville, and the Applebutter Festival in Grand Rapids. And access to homes along the project will be maintained during the project. ODOT’s plan is to construct and remove half the bridge at a time in order to maintain half the river for marine…

Downtown Bowling Green hopes to avoid gas pains at summer events

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Columbia Gas officials gave assurances Monday night that the installation of new gas lines in downtown Bowling Green would not interfere with the summer fun. The $1.3 million project to lay 7,500 feet of plastic pipe is scheduled to begin June 4, and continue until early September. It will extend down Main Street from Clay down to Lehman and Ordway. The existing metal pipes will be replaced by plastic pipes. The project is part of an ongoing effort by Columbia Gas to upgrade its service. The gas service will go from about a quarter pound of pressure to 50 pounds of pressure. “That gives us not only a safer pressure to keep water out of the lines, it allows for homeowners and residents to use more gas appliances,” said Raquel Colon, an external affairs specialist for Columbia Gas. “You’ll have more capacity to have more gas come into your home.” This will include generators for businesses, said Jim Simon, project leader for Columbia Gas. “This project will be a lot of open cut, there’ll be a lot digging, not boring as we’ve done in the past,” Colon said. “What we’re doing is a lot of digging, and it will be a little dirty but the goal is a much safer distribution of gas.” Alex Hann, who is site and logistics chair for the Black Swamp Arts Festival as well as being active in other downtown events, asked about what provisions would be made for the five events already planned. On the downtown calendar are the new Firefly Nights on the third Fridays of June, July, and August, the Classics on Main car show on July 7, and the weekend long Black Swamp Arts Festival, Sept. 7-9 as well as the weekly farmers market. Representatives for all the events were in attendance. Simon said he was aware and sympathetic to the concerns. He lives in Bowling Green and attends the arts festival. “Our goal is to make it as safe as possible.” Hann said he was concerned about tripping hazards as well as conditions that make the area less accessible for those in wheelchairs or with limited mobility. Simon said that unlike in the past where the company has completed large sections of project before going back to do restoration, for the BG work they will do either permanent or temporary restoration as they go…