Orange barrels to be on U.S. 52 until 2009

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 12, 2008

With orange barrel season in full effect, motorists on U.S. 52 in Lawrence County are dealing with traffic lane reduction and slower moving vehicles as they try to head to points east and west.

A four-lane resurfacing project began at the end of May and is scheduled to last until Aug. 31, 2009.

“It’s going well,” said Kathleen Fuller, the spokesperson for Ohio Department of Transportation District 9. “It is basically on target right now, they are on schedule for what the contract calls for.”

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The multi-million dollar preservation project includes resurfacing and rehabilitating a series of bridges on the route.

Shelly and Sands Inc., of Zanesville, was awarded the $10.9 million project and is resurfacing and replacing bridge decks between the 5-mile marker, just east of State Route 650 at Hanging Rock, and the 11-mile marker at the eastern corporation limit of Coal Grove. Traffic is reduced to one, 12-foot lane with a 11.5-foot width restriction the state routes 141 and 243 exits, and a 45-mile-per-hour speed limit will be imposed through the entire construction zone.

Fuller said the lane restrictions are necessary for the safety of the construction workers as they mill down the road so the asphalt roadway and bridge decks can be replaced. They will also be using a high-pressure water method to remove some of the asphalt.

“The primary focus for this year is minor rehabilitation on the bridges,” she said. “Over time the asphalt gets worn down and has to be replaced. You can only pothole patch so many times.”

At the start of September, work will be suspended until next year, so the road is open to traffic during the winter months. Next summer, the route will be repaved.