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State Route 7 widening project progressing

PROCTORVILLE- Motorists traveling on State Route 7 through Proctorville have spent the summer watching for flaggers and often navigating through one-lane traffic. Ohio Department of Transportation officials say things will improve just a little bit within the next few weeks.

ODOT District 9 spokeswoman Kathleen Fuller said workers should be finished by mid-August with three smaller projects that are part of the larger widening effort. Once crews have completed work on a water line installation, embankment work and on construction of temporary pavement, traffic will then be diverted onto the temporary pavement. This will allow for one lane of traffic in each direction.

Since June, traffic has sometimes been limited to one lane, and motorists have been directed through the construction area by flaggers. Once the temporary lanes are operational, the workers will begin construction of the new areas of roadway.

"That (State Route 7) is such a narrow road with a lot of traffic; it's been congested for years," Fuller said. "We appreciate everyone's patience. We realize the impact this is having on residents and on business owners in that area."

The widening of State Route 7 through the village of Proctorville is scheduled for completion in August 2004. The $4,459,873 project entails the construction of a center turn lane and the installation of a new storm system,

curb, gutter, sidewalks and traffic control devices along a 1.33 mile stretch of that roadway. Tab Construction of Canton is the general contractor for that project.

Meanwhile, work should begin the first week of August on Phase 1-B of the Chesapeake Bypass. During Phase 1B, a roadway will be built between Irene Road at Proctorville and a point near Fairland East Elementary School on State Route 7. Work should commence on Phase 1B by late summer and take a year to complete. Kentucky-based Elmo Greer and Sons were awarded the

bid on that project.

The first segment of roadway, Phase 1A, was completed in May.