Salem road work plans are set in concrete

SALEM — Beginning Monday, the intersection of East State Street and Lincoln Avenue will be closed for this year’s concrete streets project, with East State Street closed from the intersection up to Ohio Avenue for now, along with Lincoln from the intersection up to Sugartree Alley.

For people who rely on landmarks, that’s the intersection by Home Savings and the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce up to St. Paul Church and Smith Oil, then from that intersection on Lincoln up to just below the Salem News and KFC.

City Service/Safety Director Ken Kenst issued the reminder so residents and motorists can plan alternate routes come Monday, noting the detour for through traffic will be Pershing Street. If coming east from U.S. Route 62 (West State Street), turn onto either Dodge Drive or South Ellsworth Avenue to access Pershing. If coming west from East State Street, turn onto Southeast Boulevard to access Pershing.

Trucks driving straight through should already be using the posted truck route which utilizes the bypass and directs traffic to state Routes 165 and 46. Signs and barricades will be up when the project starts.

“Local people are going to have to figure it out,” Kenst said.

He explained that the contractor, Central Allied, of Canton, is going to do its best to keep access to all the businesses on State Street and traffic will be directed during the project, but businesses will be affected as well as residences. He noted that it takes 3 to 5 days for this concrete to cure so people can’t be driving over it.

He didn’t have a timeframe for how long the intersection will be closed, but the estimate to complete the concrete repair work on all of State Street will take 30 to 45 days. The $1.4 million project will fix concrete sections of State, Pershing and Southeast Boulevard. Plans call for State Street to be done first from Lincoln to the 1900 block in front of Salem Regional Medical Center, then Pershing from Ohio to Southeast Boulevard and then sections of Southeast Boulevard. The roads will not be closed at the same time, with Pershing acting as a detour route for State Street and vice versa, with State as the detour route when Pershing is closed.

As part of the project, Kenst said the decision has been made to tear up the asphalt and place concrete on Lincoln from the intersection up to Sugartree Alley. People traveling south on Lincoln from the north will have to turn onto Second Street and people coming north will have to turn onto Pershing.

Information will be posted on the city website at or on the Salem Police Department Facebook page, along with being published in the newspaper to try to keep people informed.

The contract calls for completion in 150 days, which would fall in December, but the plan is for the project to be done before that, according to Kenst.

Several blocks at a time will be closed when each street is shut down and businesses, residents, churches and the school district will need to adjust accordingly, noting that access to Reilly Stadium will be affected and both soccer and football seasons begin soon. He suggested that people pay attention and if they can, avoid the areas affected while the work is being done or plan on alternate routes.

The project will not be a curb-to-curb replacement of the concrete streets, but all cracks will be repaired and some sections may end up being curb to curb if necessary.

“As always, be patient. The end result will be well worth it,” Kenst said.

The contract cost is $1,478,095, with the funding coming from a combination of capital improvement money and the additional .25 percent city income tax revenue.