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Lane changes end on U.S. 52

Motorists who travel U.

Friday, October 08, 1999

Motorists who travel U.S. 52 past the Ashland, Ky., bridge no longer have to worry that they might be late.

Lane restrictions on the route and bridge were lifted Thursday at the site of an Ohio Department of Transportation landslide prevention project adjacent to the westbound lanes of U.S. 52, said Holly Snedecor-Gray, ODOT district 9 public information officer.

"They just got done taking down the orange barrels," Mrs. Snedecor-Gray said at about 2 p.m. Thursday.

The lane restrictions in the westbound lanes of U.S. 52, and on the Ashland bridge that leads into Ohio had been in place since last fall as Dial Construction Co. contractors recontoured the rock overhang by the bridge to increase motorist safety, Mrs. Snedecor-Gray said.

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.

Although travel through the area was back to normal yesterday, temporary lane restrictions were possible from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. today while contractors finished installing the concrete barrier wall along the westbound lanes.

Traffic was maintained with flaggers.

No additional lane restrictions are expected, even though work will continue on the project for the next week or two, Mrs. Snedecor-Gray said.

Some signs still need to be reinstalled, and additional cleanup and repair of haul roads is necessary before the project will be completely finished, she added.

ODOT officials do appreciate the traveling public’s cooperation this year while work, and occasional blasting, caused minor traffic delays, said John F. Hagen, district 9 deputy director.

"ODOT would like to thank area residents and the motorists who have traveled through the construction zone for their patience throughout the project," Hagen said. "We realize that the blasting, subsequent delays and lane restrictions were inconvenient. However, the project was necessary to protect the safety of the traveling public."

The project was originally slated to be completed at the end of June, but unpredictable weather and equipment problems prevented the contractor from being able to complete the job on time, Mrs. Snedecor-Gray said.

The cost of the project will exceed $1.1 million, however, that cost figure does not include the cost of the additional material that had to be removed in order to stabilize the hillside.

The additional work also caused the project’s completion date to be extended.

Now that the work is done, travel through Lawrence County is now safer, Mrs. Snedecor-Gray said. Motorists also will notice small improvements to the Coal Grove area of westbound U.S. 52, she said.

There is a wider shoulder between the road and hillside now, and a place on which future rocks can fall instead of on the roadway, she said.

Elsewhere in the county, County Road 403, or Irene Road, continues to be closed in connection with the project to replace the Big Paddy Creek Bridge on Ohio 7 east of Proctorville, Mrs. Snedecor-Gray said.

Irene Road is closed so crews can prepare it for use as the detour route for Ohio 7 during the replacement of the Big Paddy Creek Bridge.

Throughout the closure of Irene Road, traffic is detoured onto Ohio 7 and Ohio 775, she said.

Motorists also can expect to encounter lane restrictions on Ohio 650 in connection with a resurfacing project. The eight-mile paving project extends from about one mile north of Hanging Rock to the intersection of Ohio 522, Mrs. Snedecor-Gray said.

Throughout the project, traffic will be maintained with the aid of flaggers, she said.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of next week, Mrs. Snedecor-Gray added.