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Road project might be finished early

WAVERLY – Motorist might get a chance to use the fifth lane on U.

Monday, August 23, 1999

WAVERLY – Motorist might get a chance to use the fifth lane on U.S. 23 in the City of Waverly sooner than expected. The lane addition project is three to four months ahead of the Ohio Department of Transportation’s schedule, said Holly Snedecor-Gray, ODOT District 9 public information officer.

"We hope to have phase one completed by Christmas," Mrs. Snedecor-Gray said. "That’s always been ODOT’s plan, but the project, from the contractor’s estimation, is three to four months ahead of schedule."

If the project continues as planned, U.S. 23 traffic could be switched to the new southbound lanes during the latter part of the first week of September, said Jim Littleton, project manager for Complete General Construction Co.

Traffic would then be diverted back into the northbound lanes around the center and southernmost Crooked Creek bridges until work on the southbound lanes of those bridges is completed, Littleton said.

ODOT officials had given the contractor 90 days to complete the storm sewer project and an additional 270 days to complete phase one, Mrs. Snedecor-Gray said.

Phase one includes the southbound lanes of U.S. 23 from one end of town to the other, the replacement of the north and south Crooked Creek bridges and all paving work through the downtown area, she said.

"The contractor began phase one at the same time they were doing the sewer work, though," Mrs. Snedecor-Gray said. "And they completed the sewer work in 60 days instead of 90. That’s where a lot of time saving is coming from."

The contractor has not decided whether or not phase two of the Waverly project will begin before winter, Mrs. Snedecor-Gray added.

ODOT officials have allotted 180 days for the completion of phase two, which includes the northbound lanes north and south of the downtown area and the replacement of the north and south Crooked Creek bridges, she said.

"They want to see how fast phase one progresses," Mrs. Snedecor-Gray said. "They might want to move on to phase two earlier. It basically all depends on the timing. We’ll have to wait until we’re further into the project to see if they will be able to begin phase two earlier."

Weather permitting, Littleton said, crews are scheduled to begin removing the pavement in the existing northbound lanes Sept. 7.

Paving will continue this week in the closed southbound lanes. Complete general crews are scheduled to pave the southbound curbs and gutters from the northernmost Crooked Creek bridge to Clough Street.

Clough Street and Salisbury Road are scheduled to be closed toward the end of this week while crews finish paving the inside southbound lane from the northernmost Crooked Creek bridge to Clough Street.

Crews also will be paving the ramps from U.S. 23 to Ohio 104 and the southbound side of the median between the southernmost Crooked Creek bridge and Ohio 104.

Crews will continue pouring the concrete driveways and sidewalks between Victory Drive and Clough Street in the downtown area, and grading will begin next week behind the new curbs in preparation of seeding.

Work will continue this week on the three Crooked Creek bridges. Crews are expected to pour the concrete deck on the center Crooked Creek bridge by the end of the week.

The bridge beams are scheduled to arrive this week for the northernmost bridge, and as soon as those beams arrive, crews will begin setting them.

Bridge crews are also scheduled to pour abutments and pier caps on the southernmost bridge this week.

"ODOT sets aside a number of days for a project as a goal for the contractor to meet," Mrs. Snedecor-Gray said. "Basically, we’re still holding them to those days, but it looks like they are going to be ahead of schedule. They have put a lot of crews on this project."

The subcontractor for the traffic signal and street light installation work is scheduled to begin working at the Clough and Market streets intersections this week. Traffic might be slower than normal at those intersections.

Not every road construction project is moving along as well as the Waverly project, however.

In Lawrence County, the U.S. 52 landslide prevention project’s completion time has been moved back until the end of September, Mrs. Snedecor-Gray said.

"But that’s not etched in stone," she said. "That is the contractor’s current estimate of when they will be able to complete the rest of the work. If they find additional work, or if there’s bad weather, or the equipment breaks there are a lot of different factors that could cause the project to take longer."

The landslide prevention project across from the Ashland, Ky., bridge was originally scheduled to be completed by the end of June.