ODOT set to begin slip repair Monday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Even though the thermostat is dropping, the never-ending battle against road slips continues, with a new project starting on eastbound U.S. 52 near Coal Grove.

Beginning Monday, the highway will be reduced to one lane at the 12-mile marker - just east of the Ashland, Ky., bridge - in order for crews to repair a hill slide, stabilize the earth and rebuild the roadway.

The project site is located approximately two miles east of the route's junction with State Route 243 at Coal Grove, and along with the single-lane restriction, a 12-foot width restriction will be in effect throughout construction.

Email newsletter signup

The Ohio Department of Transportation said that it is expected that most major construction will be completed by Dec. 31.

Traffic in the westbound lanes of the route should not be affected by the project.

It's the latest in a string of slip repairs, but ODOT's Lawrence County administrator, Cecil Townsend said that many of these projects are wrapping up.

&#8220I'm going to say of the 22 jobs that we have programmed for slip repair, presently, 16 or 17 of them are complete or very near complete,” Townsend said.

The first step will be to dig 4-foot wide holes into the ground with a massive drill. The holes will be drilled until they penetrate 10 to 15 feet of rock.

Currently, crews are constructing 60-foot steel tubes that will then be lowered into the holes. The tubes will then be filled with concrete, which will provide stability to the slipping soil.

Although one might think that freezing ground might make this work difficult in low temperatures, Townsend said that's not really a factor.

&#8220Presently, the slips are being done by contractors right now, but even with our maintenance force here, it wouldn't make any difference,” Townsend said. &#8220We drive steel into the ground with a 3,000-pound hammer, so it has to be frozen awful hard for us not to be able to get through the ground.”

Similar work is going on at the 8-mile marker of State Route 378 and the 20-mile marker of State Route 141.