Wake up Columbus, don#039;t forget about us

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Tribune editorial board

Are we going in the wrong direction when it comes to the county's biggest transportation needs?

For more than 50 years, residents, politicians and civic leaders have pushed and pushed and pushed for the Chesapeake Bypass. The project to relocate State Route 7 is needed, no doubt.

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But in five decades, we've dreamed, planned, lobbied, testified and done just about everything short of downright begging, no, come to think of it, we recall a bit of that, too.

More recently, in an attempt to illustrate that the project affects more than just a corner of southeast Ohio, the project was renamed the Tri-State Metro "Outer" Belt.

Yet, even with a new, cool name, we appear no closer to having the project complete than this time last year, or the year before.

Despite the stagnation on the bypass project, another issue just keeps getting worse and the problems just keep rising.

Last week's flooding rains have us scratching our heads.

Why haven't our local leaders pushed to eliminate the flooding that brings portions of our county to a standstill?

At one point last week, a number of the major state highways in our county had portions closed due to flooding.

Detours around some of the flooded areas required an hour's drive or more.

Isn't this the 21st century? We think the time is long overdue to get these problems resolved.

Several times a year thousands of Lawrence County residents are inconvenienced and endangered by the risk of floodwaters quickly overcoming a major highway.

What will it take to get enough attention mustered up in order to make something get done? We fear that each time it rains the risk of something horrible happening on a flooded highway comes closer to a reality.

Rural residents deserve a safe highway system as much as city residents do. Would these problems exist in Cincinnati or Columbus? We doubt it.

And, it should not continue to happen here.