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Rockwood project to impact traffic flow

CHESAPEAKE — For the next three months traffic jams will abound when a portion of Rockwood Avenue will be restricted to one lane as the long-sought slide repair project starts on Monday.

Crews will put up temporary traffic signals before construction of the almost $1 million project to erect a tie-back to keep the hillside along the avenue from slipping onto the road.

For more than two years the slippage has plagued the village, often closing down the roadway to one lane.

“When they take in their equipment and they will have to stop traffic flow for a while and they may flag,” Kathleen Fuller, public information officer for Ohio Department of Transportation District 9, said.

At some point a barrier wall will also be erected.

“There will be a 10-foot width restriction where wide loads wouldn’t be able to go through,” she said.

After the signal light is up, crews from Shelly and Sands of Columbus, will start the project expected to be completed by mid-June. Shelly and Sands’ bid of $984,496 was approximately $300,000 below the state’s estimate of $1.3 million.

Village officials are advising motorists to avoid the area if at all possible.

“For people passing through, it will be bothersome,” Chesapeake Mayor Dick Gilpin said. “That is a major, major east-west route. But there is no other way around it. We can’t run them through any of the village streets.”

Motorists are asked to use the 31st Street Bridge in Proctorville and the Sixth Street Bridge by the Chesapeake Village Hall to detour into Huntington, W.Va.

“It will be passable, but it will be slow,” Gilpin said. “We are going to try to minimize it as best we can. In order to get this fixed, we have to do that. I am really sorry, but it has to be done. We have no other choice.”