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State Route 7 west reopened to traffic

Chesapeake — Just 17 days after house-sized boulders fell onto State Route 7 and completely blocked State Rout 7 west, the road is again open to traffic.

Crews finished the cleanup on Thursday, one day ahead of schedule.

On Feb. 26, a rock fall between the U.S. 52 interchange and State Route 527 left several boulders across the highway closing off the both westbound lanes and one eastbound lane. The eastbound lane was cleared the next day and the Ohio Department of Transportation District 9 issued an emergency contract to DGM, Inc. to clear the rock and debris, scale the adjacent hillside to remove additional loose rock and repair the pavement which had become severely damaged by the slide. The company originally estimated that the job would take three weeks.

But in a little over two weeks, the company broke up and moved 268 truckloads of rock, approximately 2,145 tons, to clear up the roadway. The rock was transported to the ODOT building in the Ironton Industrial Park for future use.

ODOT spokesperson Kathleen Fuller said the rock will be stored there and likely used as fill on road projects, which saves ODOT money.