To avoid damage due to repeated freeze-thaw cycles, the Geauga Engineer’s Office is implementing a “frost law” to reduce load capacity by 33 percent on all county and township roads.

The engineer’s office also detailed upcoming road projects in Auburn, Kinsman, Middlefield and Claridon townships.

Deputy Engineer Shane Hajjar received approval from the Geauga County Commissioners last week to implement the frost law, allowable by the Ohio Revised Code, as of Monday.

According to the official request, the “reduction is necessary to minimize damage to the roads during periods of freeze and thaw and excessive moisture.”

Mr. Hajjar said the frost law will remain in effect until further notice.

“It’s really when [the temperature] goes up and down that the most damage happens,” he said. “So we try to keep it in effect until it stays above a certain temperature.”

He said the engineer’s office will have signage in place throughout the county to notify drivers of the load reduction on roads, adding that the enforcement of the reduction will be monitored with assistance from the Sheriff’s Office and State Highway Patrol.

Mr. Hajjar said vehicles needing to access roads while loading heavy equipment that takes them above the road weight restriction will either need to find an alternative state route or wait until the frost law is no longer in effect.

Otherwise, he added, they must file for a permit and be liable for any damages done to the road.

In other news, the commissioners approved several road projects to be underway throughout the county, including asphalt resurfacing, shoulder widening and bridge reconstruction.

The engineer’s office will order the asphalt resurfacing of Auburn Road and Bell Street in Auburn and Newbury townships, Mr. Hajjar said, noting the final estimated cost of the project is $765,000. The project is partially funded by the Ohio Public Works Commission with a $250,000 grant. He said the county also received a $150,000 loan for the project.

Auburn Road resurfacing will be from Franks Road to Kinsman Road (Route 87), and Bell Street resurfacing will be from Munn Road to Auburn Road.

The department is also ordering the shoulder widening and asphalt resurfacing of Nauvoo Road in Middlefield Township, from Madison Road (Route 528) to North State Avenue (Route 608), as well as the Troy Wells Road bridge reconstruction in Claridon Township.

All projects will be put out for bid on March 10.

Sam Cottrill started reporting for the Times in February 2019 and covers Auburn, Bainbridge, Bentleyville and Chagrin, Kenston, Solon and West Geauga schools. She graduated from Kent State University in 2018 with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

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