Trucks damaging Sunbury curbs and sidewalks; Mayor says: ‘You break it, you fix it’ at Council

November 26, 2013

Sunbury’s East Cherry Street and Morning Street intersection takes a beating. The route through the village just happens to be a state route – Ohio 37 East – making it legal for tractor-trailers to use the roadway. The Ohio Department of Transportation roadbed, like all state routes, can handle heavy loads. The problem is the tight turn at the Cherry and Morning intersection, forcing many trucks over curbs, damaging the curbs and adjacent sidewalks.

During last Wednesday’ Sunbury Village Council meeting, Sunbury Village Administrator Dave Martin said an estimate by Jeff Beard Concrete Construction indicates that repairs could exceed $13,000.

“Most of the damage was done by oversized loads coming through the village over the years,” Martin said. “We have two companies we can follow up with. We make the repairs, file a claim and our insurance company goes to these companies for compensation. We don’t have evidence of who did all the damage, but we do have somebody to go after for part of it - especially a $560 repair that we know who did it.”

Martin said two other damaged areas of curbing and sidewalk at the intersection could cost $7,000 and $5,000 in repairs, and there are photographs that may or may not help the village recoup a portion of the cost of those repairs.

“ODOT has agreed not to permit oversized loads to go through the village in the future, but many standard-sized rigs also hit those curbs and sidewalks,” Martin said. “(CT Consultant’s) Tim Clapper suggested that council may want to change the radius of that curve when the Department of Transportation repaves Ohio 37 through the village.”

Sunbury Consulting Engineer Wes Hall, CT Consultants, agreed that changing the intersection’s radius would help solve the problem, adding that because of the village sidewalks and parkland at the corner it might be a viable shared cost project.

Until then, Sunbury Mayor Tommy Hatfield said trucking companies that route loads through Sunbury need to be held accountable for damage to village infrastructure caused by their rigs.

“One company said: We’re just going to come through again,” Hatfield said. “To my way of thinking, if you come through town and break our sidewalk, you fix it; and when you come through again and you break it, you fix it again.”

Martin also reported that the village still needs a working storm siren, but C and K Early Warning Systems advised against that type of mounting their 1,200-pound unit on any poles available in the village because the added weight of the siren might add too much stress to poles in windy conditions, and could cause poles to break.

“The siren needs a 45-foot pole, but the question is, where to put a pole so it’s not blowing in someone’s bedroom window,” Martin said.

Hatfield said that village residents want to see a working storm warning siren operating before spring.

“We don’t want to go into the March or April storm season without a siren,” Hatfield said.

In other business, Council member Len Weatherby said two items were discussed during the Monday, November 18, Village of Sunbury Planning & Zoning Commission meeting.

Commission members approved a pool facility for Sunbury Meadows only residents, conditional on final engineering; and there was a brief discussion about the opening of an Oak Hill BBQ at the former Crème Corner on North Columbus Street.

Council member Dave Miller, who chairs Council’s IT Committee, said that the Village

administration office needs a new server and one should be purchased and installed in January or February.

Martin said the village street crew would begin a second shift December 15, and continue with the adjusted schedule through March 15 of next year. The second shift allows village crews to plow streets during snow events without paying overtime.

Sunbury’s website is located at < >.

Sunbury Village Council meets the first and third Wednesday of every month at 7:30 p.m., third floor council chambers, Sunbury Town Hall. Council committees meet one hour before regularly scheduled council sessions. All village council and council committee meetings are open to the public.