This unseasonably warm and snow-free winter led to some work on the being done ahead of schedule, said Don Damyanic, the project manager for the interchange.
The project is about 25 percent finished, Damyanic said, and remains on schedule to be completed in September of 2013.
Work on the mechanically-stabilized earth walls was able to be done ahead of schedule because of the warmer, dry weather, Damyanic said.
Behind the concrete walls that will be part of the base of the bridge on each side of Interstate 90, there are horizontal straps as well as vertical footers that go down to bedrock to keep the ground under the bases of the bridge stable.
While the crews appreciated not having many blizzards to slog through, they could have done with some more cold.
"Not having a lot of snow was fine, but we would have preferred it a little bit colder," Damyanic said. Frozen ground is easier to drive heavy construction equipment and trucks across than mud, he explained, and it's easier to lay pipes in.
The next big step will be finishing the bridge across I-90. While it will remain closed to car traffic through the competion of the interchange project, having the bridge will make work on the project easier.
"We won't have to detour our trucks around Chester and Detroit to get to the other side," Damyanic said.
Now that spring has arrived, project that had to wait until warmer weather will soon start. Construction of the mass embankments for the on- and off-ramps for the interchange will begin.
About 180,000 yards of dirt will be brought in for that project, Damyanic said. That's 18,000 dump truck loads.
In April, Nagel Road will be shut down for two months from to the entrance as Nagel Road will be widened and improved in that stretch. Lear Industrial Blvd. will be the detour. From the Jacobs Health Center entrance to Chester Road will be widened at a later date, which will lead to that bit of Nagel being closed then, Damyanic said.
Damyanic suggested those coming into Avon from Avon Lake take Jaycox or Center Road instead to alleviate traffic near the construction zone.