Church Street improvements continue through the holidays

Dec 16, 2020 | Around Ottawa County | 0 comments

The sewer separation project on Church Street in Oak Harbor to replace the village’s wastewater collection lines continues on the area in front of St. Boniface Catholic Church.

Oak Harbor’s Church Street Improvement Project, an ongoing, grant-supported sewer separation project that will replace the Village’s wastewater collection lines, is expected to impact residents through the holidays and into 2021, according to Village Administrator Randall Genzman.

The Village recently held a meeting to update residents on the construction’s progress.

“Leading up to the New Year’s holiday will be the continuing installation of sanitary and storm sewer mains, along with associated service laterals, manholes, catch basins and junction boxes,” said Genzman. “We expect to see progress from the current location at Park Street and proceeding north to the Washington Street area.”

Genzman indicated the project is on schedule, with an expected completion date of next July. It is the most aggressive storm water separation project in the history of the village. Some of the wastewater collection lines were originally built in the 1880s.

Road construction and downtown detours have been necessary to resolve significant inflow and filtration issues with the existing combined wastewater/storm water collection system, and have been ongoing since last July.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development awarded Village officials more than $4.1 million in grant moneys, and provided a loan for just under $5 million for the improvements, which are expected to result in the removal of millions of gallons of storm water from the system. The project will also provide installation of new fire hydrants, more accessible sidewalks along Church Street, and resurfaced roads throughout the downtown areas.

“Helms and Sons Excavating has done a fantastic job of coordinating traffic flows and keeping the active project area confined,” said Genzman, noting the Village is very pleased with the company contracted to complete the project.

“We are continually working with churches, funeral homes and schools in an effort to reduce the inconveniences to their operations,” he said.

Barring any issues that could alter the project’s schedule, by January the Village hopes to see completion of all potable water main and service lateral work from Park Street to North Railroad Street; and installation of the headwall, sanitary and storm mains on Church Street to Walnut Street, as well as the Main and Locust Street intersection.

Final paving is complete on Locust and Water Streets, while intermediate paving—to be in place for the remainder of the winter—has been completed on West Main and Church Street.

In 2021, residents may expect continued progress on Church Street with the completed installation of sanitary and storm mains to North Railroad Street, a new storm main from East Oak Street to Church Street, as well as all surface restoration and landscaping projects.

“The recent good weather has allowed us to get a lot of work done on the project,” said Mayor Quinton Babcock. “We all know that winter weather can be troublesome, so this has been a bonus for construction crews.”

In inclement weather, it is advised travelers use an alternate route, when able. Final paving on Church Street will not take place until the final phase of the project.

“Construction will proceed as weather allows and construction materials continue to be available from the manufacturers,” said Genzman. “Snow plowing on Church Street will be a unique chore through the winter.”

Questions regarding the Church Street Improvement Project may be directed to For more information, call Oak Harbor Municipal Administrative Offices, 419-898-5561, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Monday through Friday.

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