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ODOT to spend #036;14 million on projects

You’ll see them everywhere this summer – at Hanging Rock, throughout the eastern end of the county, and at Woodland Cemetery.

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

You’ll see them everywhere this summer – at Hanging Rock, throughout the eastern end of the county, and at Woodland Cemetery.

Road Construction Crews will be an ever-present force this summer as the state spends more than $14 million to repair or upgrade Lawrence County roadways.

Ohio Department of Transportation officials Tuesday morning gave details on 10 projects

that are budgeted for the coming construction season.

ODOT District 9 public information officer Kathleen Fuller says this is by far the busiest construction season in years.

"You hear so often that there is no money funneled into southern Ohio, so this is proof that the state is concerned and is spending money here," she said.

It is the department’s intention to keep traffic tie ups to a minimum and still complete projects on time.

"This year’s theme is ‘Maintenance of Traffic.’ With some of our projects, we’re fortunate that they are occurring off the road," Fuller said.

Included on the list of projects is the replacement of the bridge on Cemetery Road in Woodland Cemetery. Acting Lawrence County Road Manager Cecil Townsend says Ironton residents have been very vocal about the need for a new bridge.

"One of the most frequently asked questions I get is about this bridge," Townsend said.

The bridge was closed due to age and deterioration more than a year ago. Visitors to the cemetery must use the rear entrance in Coal Grove.

The bridge replacement is expected to begin sometime this summer, with a projected completion date of November, 2002, at a cost of $874,000.

A project to widen State Route 7 at Proctorville has been approved for this fiscal year, and is expected to commence about the time work is completed on Phase 1A of the Chesapeake Bypass project.

Townsend says the goal is to have the bypass work finished or nearly finished, and then transfer most of the area’s traffic to the bypass and away from that part of State Route 7 for the duration of that construction work.

"It will be hectic there but we can get through it," Townsend said. The $3.5 million State Route 7 widening project will affect the portion of roadway between State Route 607 and State Route 243. Nearly $400 thousand will be spent this summer to install turn lanes on U.S. 52 at Grandview Avenue between Coal Grove and South Point. Fuller says she expects to have minimal traffic

disturbance as at least one lane will be maintained in each direction at all times.

Other projects include resurfacing a portion of U.S. 52 at Hanging Rock, and part of State Route 217 in the vicinity of Greasy Ridge Road.

The state plans to spend more than $150 million on road projects throughout District 9 this year. That’s more than twice the amount spent last year in the eight county area.