WILMINGTON — Due to a major renovation of The Murphy Theatre façade, there is a one-lane closure to eastbound traffic on a segment of Main Street for about five months.
During the construction, the right lane of Main Street in front of The Murphy Theatre will be closed. Traffic control measures and signs will be in place to divert traffic to the left lane.
City of Wilmington officials ask all motorists to be patient, reduce speed, and use added caution when traveling near this work zone in the downtown.
“We met with contractors this [Friday] morning to see whether we could figure out a way to not have to close a lane, but for safety reasons we just can’t,” Wilmington Mayor John Stanforth said.
The problem is that the sidewalk in front of the theater is hollow underneath, and the lift equipment needed for the work has to be on solid ground and would be too heavy to set on the sidewalk, explained Stanforth.
“I just want people to be patient. We will get this done and the scaffolding will come down,” the mayor said.
The work is being done by Quality Masonry Company out of Marion, Ohio, a firm that restores and preserves historical buildings. Funds for the project are from the State of Ohio, said Murphy Theatre Executive Director Maretta Alden.
Work crews will pull off terra cotta that’s splitting and cracking from age, said Project Administrator Jeff Johnson. The ornamental building material will be replaced with reinforced fiberglass that has a texture and coloring that matches the terra cotta, Johnson said.
The molds will be made in Cleveland, said Johnson.
The project is expected to be finished by July, weather permitting, said Stanforth.
Truck traffic is strongly encouraged to utilize the 73 Bypass to avoid travel through the downtown area.
Questions regarding the closure may be made to the Office of the Director of Public Service/Public Safety at 937-382-6509.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.