Current Construction Projects

Morgan St. Reservoir & Wetland Project

The City of Oberlin has been working with the Environmental Design Group since June, 2019 to plan for the adaptive re-use of the historic reservoirs on Morgan St.  The reservoirs are Class II dams regulated by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.  To meet ODNR regulations, it would have been necessary to remove all of the trees and to plant grass on the earthen embankments around both reservoirs.  Through the Alternatives Analysis phase, we determined to convert the west reservoir into a constructed wetland and to make improvements to the east reservoir to exempt it from ODNR regulations.  Our community selected this option as the best balance of ecological, historical, recreation and economic considerations.

On August 16, 2021, the contract for the ‘Morgan St. Reservoir & Wetland Project’ was awarded to Big Trees, Inc. of Columbia Station in the amount of $535,885.  The construction site fencing was erected just before Labor Day.  Big Trees followed this with installation of tree protection fencing and silt fencing as required by the plans and the installation of the temporary construction drives that will ultimately become part of the new trail system around the site.  With improved access, they’ve made progress on the limited but necessary tree removal required to construct the new outfalls for both the reservoir and the wetland.

The upper (west) reservoir has been substantially dewatered in preparation for wetland construction.  Fish, including bluegill, bass and a few catfish were relocated to the lower reservoir.

Dewatered Upper (West) Reservoir

The water elevation in the lower (east) reservoir has been lowered about 18” as planned, exposing the sandstone lined embankments.

Lower (East) Reservoir

During the month of October, Big Trees moved and placed over 7,400 cubic yards of dirt from the City’s borrow pit at the Recreation Complex to the new wetland.




While we’ve had good weather for the work, we’ve also had our share of mud:



In early November, Big Trees roughed in the new wetland spillway and outlet to the southwest:

Installed the new headwall, access manhole and overflow outlet for the reservoir:

And installed a catch basin and inlet to the north side of the new wetland:

Due to the extensive heavy equipment work and to keep everyone safe, the site will be closed to the public, likely until April, 2022. The Oberlin College arboretum can still be accessed through Ladies Grove (south of the Prospect/Morgan St. intersection) or from South Professor St.  We apologize for the temporary inconvenience even as we look forward to these improvements.

Big Trees Recommendation

South Park and Grafton St. Paving Improvements

On July 6th, City Council awarded this project to Crossroads Asphalt Recycling in the amount of $366,388.25.   In addition to paving, the work includes select curb replacement, (6) catch basins and about 60’ of 12” storm sewer pipe.  Sidewalks and ADA ramps will be improved at the Groveland and Locust street intersections.  The North Coast Inland Trail (future US Bike Route 30) crossing will be lowered to improve visibility at Sumner St.  3 ¼” of the existing asphalt pavement will be milled off and the street will be resurfaced with a 1 ¾” intermediate course, followed by pavement overlay fabric and a 1 ½” surface course.  Pavement markings including crosswalks, stop bars, sharrows and the bike path XING symbol will be thermoplastic.  The bike path will be marked in high visibility green thermoplastic.   Safe, active transportation improvements are described in the Oberlin City School District’s recently adopted School Travel Plan.

12/2/21: This project is now complete, with the bike path signage being installed today. Touchups to site restoration will occur in the spring time.

Please drive safely through all work zones!

Thank you for your continued patience!

For questions regarding any City construction project, please contact the Public Works Department at 440-775-7218.

Oberlin College Sustainable Infrastructure Project (SIP)

Oberlin College has begun this project to convert the campus heating system from an antiquated steam system to hot water delivery. This new system will lower resource use on campus and increase comfort all year around with expanded cooling to more campus buildings.  Please see the items below for more information: