ODOT expects busy summer

MARIETTA – Throughout Washington County, it is shaping up to be a busy summer for crews from the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Washington County Engineer’s Office with about 20 paving, bridge, sidewalk and culvert projects coming up.

None of the projects are expected to be large-scale endeavors that would cause complete road closures, said ODOT public information officer David Rose.

“Mostly these are going to be one-lane closures where we will work on one side and leave the other open and then switch,” he said.

Rose said one of the biggest projects will be the relocation of a quarter mile of Ohio 821. The $1,351,339 project, which starts near Ohio 60, began last September and started again April 22 after a winter break

“Currently crews are finishing all the dirt work and grading, as well as drainage,” he said.

The project will remove an existing curve and since the work is being done beside the current roadway, it should not affect traffic, he added. The project will likely wrap up Nov. 1.

ODOT is also helping oversee two sidewalk construction projects, one in Belpre and one in Beverly. The addition of a section of sidewalk on Ullman Street in Beverly is part of an ongoing effort to make it safer for area students to bike and walk to school, said Rose.

Resurfacing projects are also scheduled for Ohio 555, Ohio 7 and Pike Street, he said.

The county engineer’s office has a dozen paving and bridge repair projects slated for the coming year. The list of paving projects this year include Highland Ridge Road, Caywood Road, Groves Avenue, Zion Ridge Road and two sections of Stanleyville Road, said Washington County Engineer Roger Wright.

“We have a system where the roads are scored and we combine that with how much traffic is on the road,” he said of how the yearly paving projects are chosen.

Additionally, the Archers Fork, Baker, Stevens, Ward and Ferrebee bridges will get touch-ups this summer. Work on Archers Fork Bridge will likely begin as soon as school is out and last all summer, said Wright.

Though busy, increased prices for paving and bridge work have caused the county to slightly cut the amount of summer projects it has taken on over the past few years, he said. The average cost of paving a single mile of road has more than doubled from 1999 to 2012 – from $32,000 to $70,000.

Another 16 ODOT projects will be happening in Monroe, Noble and Morgan counties.

In Monroe County, two resurfacing projects will start at the Washington County line and will cover five and a half miles of Ohio 26 and four miles of Ohio 565. Bridge work in Monroe County will take place on state routes 537, 145, 379 and 536, said Rose.

For those bridge projects on Ohio 145 and Ohio 379, motorists can expect road closures beginning June 10 through Aug. 16.

The Adams Covered Bridge in Morgan County will be undergoing repairs this summer and the Ohio 78 bridge that runs over Buck Run Road will be replaced. One of the larger projects in Morgan County will also be a realignment project, said Rose. A half mile realignment on Ohio 607 in Morgan County will begin just north of Ohio 60.

Another large Morgan County project will be the resurfacing of 14 miles of Ohio 678 starting at the Washington County line.

In Noble County, two bridges are being completely replaced – a bridge a half mile south of Township Road 100 on Ohio 821 and the bridge that runs over Little Buffalo Creek on Ohio 147.

Beginning at the Guernsey County line, ODOT will be resurfacing six miles of Ohio 313 in Noble County. They will also be resurfacing more than five miles of Interstate 77 near the Ohio 78 interchange ramps.

This summer marks one of ODOT’s busiest ever, with around $2.3 billion worth of work scheduled throughout the state for the rest of the year, said Rose.

Locally, many of the big projects were done a few years ago, meaning this year will focus mainly on paving and bridge work, he added.

“In Southeastern Ohio, we’re focused on maintenance right now and just getting everything up to standards,” he said.