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News in Brief – 7/27/09

Stimulus project begins this week

CHILLICOTHE — As the Ohio Department of Transportation awards contracts across the state for projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), work begins on the second stimulus-funded project in ODOT District 9.

Construction is under way to replace a bridge at the 1.25-mile marker on U.S. 52, where the route is reduced to one, 11-foot lane between the Adams County line and County Road 97 (Lower Twin Road). ODOT awarded a contract in June for approximately $723,300 to DGM Incorporated of Beaver, Ohio.

“The investments being made across the state are putting people back to work, which means jobs for Ohioans, and as with the many other projects being funded by the ARRA, this marks the road to recovery,” said District 9 Deputy Director James Brushart.

With the start of this project, motorists will notice new signs at the construction site, recognizing the use of stimulus funds. The signs – which read “Putting America to Work” – are being erected when work begins at all stimulus-funded projects across Ohio.

District 9’s first stimulus project to sell was the Ross-104 Widening project, which received a $6.5 million investment of ARRA funds to widen a three-mile section of the route north of Chillicothe.

A complete list of the transportation infrastructure projects prioritized for stimulus funding – with updates on projects which have been authorized by the Federal Highway Administration, contracts which have been awarded, and new employment opportunities – can be found online at www.dot.state.oh.us.

Ohio U. student dies after fall

ATHENS (AP) — Police say an Ohio University student has died after falling from a second-floor deck at an off-campus residence.

Athens police say 20-year-old Matthew Smith died early Sunday at O’Bleness Memorial Hospital. Witnesses told police the fall was an accident.

Smith, of the Cincinnati suburb of Loveland, had just completed his sophomore year at the school.

The Montgomery County coroner’s office is performing an autopsy.

Smith is the second Ohio University student to die after a fall this year. On April 29, Eric Hansen, a 20-year-old sophomore from the Cleveland suburb of Seven Hills, died after tumbling from the fourth floor of a campus building.