• 39°

Bypass among projects on drawing board at open house

The proposed $98 million Chesapeake Bypass and an almost $1 million project to build trails in downtown Ironton were among the projects the public could discuss Monday with the ones who can make them a reality.

The Ohio Department of Transportation conducted an open house at Ohio University Southern to show the projects slated from 2014 to 2017 as part of the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).

Tentatively slated to go to bid in 2015 is the long-awaited Chesapeake Bypass that would connect with the existing section of the project that stretches from Proctorville west. The long-term goal is to create a connector from the far-east end of Huntington, W.Va., to Ironton.

“It is in our planning phase,” Kathleen Fuller, ODOT District 9 spokesperson, said. “It is being programmed. We have money committed to the project. Can I say definitely it is going to construction? It depends on the funding. We have funding committed but it is not entirely funded.”

Right now the project is planned as a two-lane highway on a four-lane right of way.

“That would serve the motorists very well and accommodate the traffic on State Route 7,” Fuller said.

The majority of the funding would come from federal money and although the project is not funded completely since there is money designated for it, ODOT programmed it into its schedule.

The four-hour open house enabled the public to come into the Mains Rotunda to look at maps of proposed projects with costs and an estimated time frame.

The single most expensive project for 2014 is replacing the 288-foot concrete deck on the Indian Guyan Bridge on the west end of Proctorville. The project, estimated to cost $3.5 million, is expected to begin in the spring of 2014 and be finished in the fall.

The next largest projects are resurfacing to be done on State Route 141 from State Routes 217 and 775 and State Route 217 from State Route 141 to Scottown. Combined those projects are expected to cost $2.4 million.

Also on tap is an almost $1 million trail and walkway starting at the Transit Center on South Second Street in Ironton. It will feature 1,000 miles of bike lanes crossing over the floodwall on North Second Street to Stormes Creek Bridge. Bids are scheduled to be awarded in July of 2014 and construction will take three months.