Cleanup next step for U.S. 52 project

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 30, 1999

After nearly a year of construction, traffic cones along U.

Thursday, September 30, 1999

After nearly a year of construction, traffic cones along U.S. 52 near the bridges to and from Ashland, Ky., should soon disappear.

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The landslide prevention project is in its final stages, and crews are cleaning up the area in preparation for regular traffic flow, said Holly Snedecor-Gray, Ohio Department of Transportation district 9 public information officer.

"They estimated last week that the lane restrictions would be ended by the end of this week, but it will probably be early next week before they are completely gone," Mrs. Snedecor-Gray said. "They still have to pave and set up the concrete barrier on the shoulder that would prevent any slippage from coming down into the roadway."

Paving is scheduled to begin today, weather permitting, Mrs. Snedecor-Gray said.

Until paving and construction end, motorists could encounter minor delays and disruption of the usual route through that section of U.S. 52, but these delays will not be similar to the extended ones caused by contractors blasting the rock surface, Mrs. Snedecor-Gray said.

"They are going to be doing some general cleanup work," she said. "That can cause some general delays. They are not going to lift the lane restrictions entirely until the project is completely done, so people can probably see a little more interruption."

A little inconvenience is worth the added safety to the traveling public, however, Mrs. Snedecor-Gray added.

The landslide prevention project began Oct. 30, 1998, as an effort to increase safety. Because of the rock wall’s proximity to the through-lane at the bridge intersection, several large rocks have impacted the pavement there in the past, Mrs. Snedecor-Gray said.

The area was recontoured to prevent any future slides through this project, she said.

The original completion date for the project was June 30, but because of unpredictable weather and equipment problems, the contractor was not able to complete the job on time, Mrs. Snedecor-Gray said.

These delays also caused an increase in the cost of the project.

"The project was contracted at more than $970,000, and is now at about $1,073,000," Mrs. Snedecor-Gray said. "But that’s not too surprising. If you are going to do more work, naturally it is going to cost more. The final cost of the project isn’t in yet, though. That amount represents about 95 percent of the project’s cost."

The money was well-spent, however. Not only will this make driving on U.S. 52 more safe, but it also will decrease the amount of maintenance needed in that area.

"Routinely, we have bench cleaning projects on U.S. 52 in Lawrence County that are done when necessary," she said. "This will make that area easier to maintain."