Turning lane project on U.S. 52 should be done by end of month

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 22, 2002

The new turning lanes are

completed, but new traffic signals have to be added before they are opened, said Kathleen Fuller, public information officer for the Ohio Department of Transportation, District 9. Also, burn tests and checks on the signals' timing may be ran, she said.

The Shelly Co. of Thornville was awarded the project, which will cost $397,373.34.

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"As far as construction goes, the project has went really well," said George Addis, a Shelly Co. foreman.

Addis said all four lanes will open to traffic by Saturday evening, and the entire project will be completed at the end of the month.

"The rain held us up real bad, though," he added.

Addis' three workers are union workers, and he said his company only uses union labor. When it rains in the morning, they are given two hours of show-up time, Addis said.

The traffic lights at the Grandview Avenue intersection may be shut off for a short period of time during the electrical work, Fuller said. If that is the case, the traffic will be maintained by flaggers.

However, Mike Collins, owner and superintendent of Genesis Electric, said he does not expect the traffic lights to be shut off. Collins' company is a sub-contractor of the Shelly Co.

Two businesses on Grandview Avenue have not lost any customers because of the construction.

In fact, they both have gained customers.

"You drive 55 straight through, and you don't really take a look around," said Mary Gillum, owner of Lone Wolf Trading Post. "Traffic being slowed down has helped."

Gillum, a Kitts Hill resident, sells and trades various items alongside U.S. 52. Almost all of the construction workers have looked through her merchandise, and she said one of the workers has bought several items.

"I won't miss the noise, but I'll miss the increased business," Gillum said.

Berkley Carrico, manager of Clark's Pump and Shop, said the construction workers buy sports drinks and all of their fuel at his store.

"My regular customers keep coming in anyway," said Carrico. "This hasn't hurt business at all. It's actually better."

Addis said there haven't been many traffic problems at all and that most motorists have been cooperative.

"I didn't expect it to be this good," said Addis. "We haven't had a bit of trouble."

The Shelly Co. has another job after the 52/Grandview Avenue project is completed, so Addis' laborers will not be out of work, he said. Amelia A. Pridemore/The Ironton Tribune