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Keep trying for bypass

The old adage that “if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again,” certainly takes on new meaning when it comes to seeing the Chesapeake Bypass completed.

County leaders have been trying and trying and trying to get Ohio Department of Transportation officials to help our region succeed by honoring its promises to build the highway that would better link our entire region.

But, year after year, this project gets tossed aside, continuing more than 40 years of disappointment when it comes to getting this vital infrastructure project completed.

Phase 1A extended State Route 607 from the 31st Street/East Huntington Bridge to Irene Road East and connects with State Route 775. It was completed in 2003 and Phase 1B, between Irene Road at Proctorville and a point near Fairland East Elementary School on State Route 7, was completed in 2005.

Although these initial projects made a difference on a small scale, completing the entire project to relocate State Route 7 at Proctorville and connect it at Chesapeake would have a much larger impact because it would create a better avenue east and west along the Ohio River and also link up West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio more seamlessly.

This part, called Phase 2, is not even on ODOT’s priority list, despite the fact that federal money has been earmarked for land acquisition.

The federal government has stepped up, now it is time for the state of Ohio to do its part.

If this project was around Cleveland, Columbus or Cincinnati, or even just farther north, it would have been completed years ago.

But, despite the frustrations, we have to keep trying if we hope to ever succeed.