With the weather finally turning and spring just around the corner, road-construction season soon will be upon us.
The city of Whitehall's service department and the dedicated public servants of the streets division work hard throughout the year to improve the city's infrastructure and provide high-quality services to our residents.
But much like the seasons, the streets division shifts its focus throughout the year.
To keep our roads free from snow and ice this winter, our crews used more than 750 tons of rock salt and 45,000 gallons of brine. Last fall, we collected 158 truckloads of leaves from our neighborhoods.
Looking back on the last construction season, in addition to maintaining 131 lane miles of roads -- about the distance from Columbus to Cleveland -- we replaced nearly 650 street signs and 1,475 linear feet of curb, plus 405 sidewalk panels along Broad Street.
Last year, the city invested more than $1 million to resurface parts of Westphal Avenue, Fairway Oaks Drive, Shady Lane Road, Lamby Lane, Fairway Boulevard and Brentwood Court. Similarly, workers replaced curbs and gutters and resurfaced half of Collingwood Avenue.
Finally, thanks in part to an Ohio Public Works Commission grant/loan program, we invested in improvements along North Yearling Road, including a new entrance feature, lights and a multiuse path, as well as new curbs, gutters and asphalt.
But our work does not end here; the city has set forth an aggressive infrastructure-improvement program for the 2020 construction season.
Residents can look forward to crews finalizing the Broad Street sidewalk panel- and curb-replacement program. This last phase will tackle the area between Robinwood and Maplewood avenues, making the entire stretch more pedestrian-friendly.
Also coming soon, the city plans to contract for street resurfacing on Pierce, Elaine and Erickson roads in addition to the Glencoe neighborhood and a portion of Wright Avenue. Workers also will perform a complete reconstruction of Rickenbacker Avenue and Chandler Drive near Yearling and Tornes roads.
Finally, the engineering and design for widening Poth Road and bridge replacement on Etna and Elaine roads will be completed before work begins next year.
But none of this would be possible without a commitment from city leaders to improving Whitehall's infrastructure, investing now so we can realize new opportunities in the future.
Thanks to support from Mayor Kim Maggard and Whitehall City Council, the budget for infrastructure has more than tripled since I became service director in 2014.
Yet there is always more to do, and I welcome feedback on the city's street-maintenance and infrastructure-improvement efforts.
My door is always open should you have recommendations for future areas of focus. The service department and streets division look forward to serving you in the year ahead.
Zach Woodruff is service director of the city of Whitehall.