A single lane of 16th Street between Main and Market streets in downtown Wheeling is now open, but Public Works Director Russell Jebbia said it could be a few weeks before traffic flow is fully restored at an intersection shut down by a major waterline break 12 days ago.
On Wednesday afternoon, workers spread cold patch on the north lane of 16th Street. Southbound traffic on Main Street now is able to turn left onto 16th Street - but with the other lane still closed, those entering downtown from the south still must turn onto 20th Street and then Market Street.
With hot mix asphalt still unavailable, cities must use cold patch to make street repairs during the winter. But Jebbia doesn't believe that material will hold up on the south lane.
Photo by Ian Hicks
A vehicle turns from Main Street onto 16th Street in downtown Wheeling on Wednesday afternoon following repair of a waterline break. Northbound vehicles must continue to detour around the intersection, however, as city crews must wait for asphalt to become available to finish repairs.
"With where the damage was ... it's a big difference in elevation. ... We can't do anything until the asphalt plants open up," he said.
And when that will happen, Jebbia said, all depends on the weather. Typically asphalt plants begin operating around late March, he noted.
City workers spent parts of the day Monday and Tuesday pouring concrete to rebuild the road's sub-base. However, they had to wait until Wednesday afternoon to spread the cold patch due to uncertainty over the weather, Jebbia said.
The break that shut down that intersection occurred Feb. 24. Jebbia said the city is also waiting on hot mix to finish repairing road damage caused when a 12-inch main broke in South Wheeling on Feb. 14, flooding Eoff Street with several inches of water and sending water down 29th and 31st streets and as far as Chapline Street.