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Governor fails to see value of our bypass

One southern Ohio bypass was recommended for funding but the one for which many Lawrence Countians have hoped and prayed for decades was once again looked over.

Gov. John Kasich released his transportation plan earlier this week which includes a $3 billion investment in Ohio’s roads, highways and infrastructure.

The proposal includes funding for the Portsmouth Bypass, a much-needed development that will help better connect southern Ohio with the rest of the state.

But the project that was glaringly left off the list was the Chesapeake Bypass, often called the Tri-State Metro Outerbelt. Lawrence County leaders have lobbied for this project for probably 50 years.

Initial phases have helped but completing the connection between U.S. 52 and State Route 7 beyond Proctorville would be a huge step forward for the Tri-State’s entire transportation system. It would help create a more seamless highway system and position the county well for the future.

The constant stops and starts on this project has likely cost the state tens of millions over the years in redesigns, environmental studies and increased construction costs.

Enough is enough.

The state’s Transportation Review Advisory Committee and the Ohio Department of Transportation can still find a way to address a huge issue here in southern Ohio even if the governor fails to see the big picture here.