Erosion closes section of Route 531

Dec. 2—NORTH KINGSVILLE — A portion of Lake Road, Route 531, is closed in North Kingsville and Ashtabula Township due to erosion issues.

According to a press release from the Ohio Department of Transportation, crews were actively monitoring the section of Route 531, and on Wednesday, the road was closed due to encroaching erosion.

"We know this is an inconvenience to those who travel this route, but we will never sacrifice safety for convenience," District 4 Deputy Director Gery Noirot said in the press release.

North Kingsville Police Chief Shannon Krenisky said the road was closed by the Ohio Department of Transportation at about 7 p.m. on Wednesday night due to erosion.

The road is blocked off adjacent to the bus turnaround west of Route 193, and just east of LaBounty Road, he said.

"So that whole section, you can't go through," Krenisky said.

No homes are inside the closed area, he said.

The road is used by about 3,000 vehicles a day, according to the ODOT press release.

The closed section of road sits on the border of North Kingsville and Ashtabula Township.

"The erosion had quickly encroached to the road there," said Ray Marsch, a spokesperson for ODOT. "We've had constant, constant checks on it. We routinely would go out and inspect the area. What we found through this week, here, we determined that that erosion came too close to the roadway there, and it was just unsafe for vehicles to be driving along [Route 531] with that amount of erosion taking place."

There is currently no timeline for when the road will be open again, Marsch said. ODOT has to work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Coast Guard, and the EPA, because of the proximity to Lake Erie, he said.

"There's a lot of moving parts with the projects that are located near and on Lake Erie," Marsch said. "It's a lot more complicated than, say, just a normal project on Route 45 in the middle of the county."

The current plan is to make improvements to the area and reopen that section of road once those improvements are complete, he said.

ODOT's recommended detour is Route 193 to Route 20 to Route 11.

Marsch said ODOT will keep the public up to date on the project as it moves forward.

"As of right now, we're not even 24 hours into the closure, so the process of creating a project starts today," he said.