Portsmouth project off to strong start

Published 9:50 am Tuesday, September 1, 2015

PORTSMOUTH — Two months after the groundbreaking, blasting operations will start this week on the Portsmouth bypass, officially known as the Southern Ohio Veterans Memorial Highway.

“We will start blasting this week at the Lucasville-Minford Road,” said Kathleen Fuller, public information officer at the Ohio Department of Transportation District 9. “They are working like crazy. It is really going well.”

The bypass is a 16-mile highway starting at U.S. 23 just north of the Scioto County Fairgrounds in Lucasville to Sciotoville at U.S. 52. There will be four interchanges: at the two terminal points, at Lucasville Minford Road and Shumway Hollow Road.

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“Blasting will go on throughout the entire project,” Fuller said. “It will take place on weekdays. The noon hour and late in the day is when most people will experience a sound or vibration. It will be off and on intermittently throughout the life of the project in 2017.

Late fall and early spring of this year Solid Rock Construction of Portsmouth did the initial clearing with the developers taking on the remaining work.

Building the highway is the first public-private partnership for ODOT and has as partners the Portsmouth Gateway Group and Portsmouth Joint Venture.

The gateway group is made up of Star American, ACE Infrastructure and Infrared on the financial side with ms consultants as the designer. Handing the construction is Dragados, Beaver Excavating and JR Jurgensen.

The contract part of the project is $430 million. However added to that are the costs of the gateway group handling major maintenance of the roadway for the first 35 years.

“We will retain snow and ice control,” Fuller said. ‘Total project will cost more than ($430 million). It could be in excess of a billion dollars.”