By Max Pikras, For The Miami Student
The quaint town in northwestern Butler County many students call home will undergo a change this month. The brick streets, a signature feature of Uptown Oxford, will be repaved to repair damage.
Construction will begin May 26 at the intersection of High Street and Campus Avenue, and stretch to Poplar Street. Following will be construction at the intersection of High Street and Talawanda Road.
The total cost of the project is $553,232. A grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) is covering 86 percent of the cost.
Belgray, Inc. is the contractor for the project, and will be constructing the removal, repair and installation of asphalt and bricklayers. The existing layers of brick and asphalt will be removed, allowing the construction team to work with a new surface. A layer of aggregate will be added to the ground, followed by 10 to 11 inches of concrete. To complete the roadwork, a layer of new bricks will be placed on top.
“The concrete that was originally put down was not heavy enough, and eventually disintegrated,” said Victor Popescu, Oxford City engineer. “The current project will include an addition of drainage and an increase in concrete thickness.”
The construction has a tentative completion date of July 15, 2015, but the contractor may revise the construction schedule if necessary.
Traffic will take a hit due to the roadway construction, but detours will be posted and sidewalks will remain open for the duration of the project.
“The city, over the years, has committed to do all major highway improvements,” Popescu said, “especially through the downtown area in the summer time when the student population is low and the inconvenience to traffic is minimized.”
The construction this summer is not predicted to cause any problems for the businesses and residents of Oxford.
“It won’t affect the business, but it will affect the traffic and the amount of people coming through Oxford during the summer,” said Brilynn Webb, an employee of The Apple Tree Uptown.
With many boutiques, restaurants and bars, Uptown Oxford has many possible destinations for potential customers traveling on High Street. Business on less-traveled streets in Oxford may see a rise in the number of people who stop in due to the construction.
“On the other side, the construction could significantly affect the business by having more people stop in because of the amount of detours,” Webb said.