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Solida Road interchange to begin

Goal to improve traffic flow in, out of industrial park

SOUTH POINT— With warmer weather coming sometime soon, orange cone season will begin as the Ohio Department of Transportation starts construction on over 1,000 road projects across the state.

ODOT District 9 will be spending $79 million on 75 preservation, maintenance and safety projects across the eight-county region, along with numerous bridge rehabilitation and slide repair projects.

In Lawrence County, ODOT will be working on the U.S. 52/Solida Road interchange in South Point sometime this summer.

“It’s a design-build project,” said Lawrence County Engineer Patrick Leighty. “So, they have to design it and get buildable units before they can actually get boots on the ground.”

The project has a completion date of Dec. 31.

“It will start sometime this summer, but I can’t say exactly when they are going to start on it,” Leighty said.

The $1.6 million project would fix the interchanges of intersections on Solida Road, U.S. 52, the eastbound ramps and Collins Avenue into a single roundabout.

The problem is that a combination of closely spaced intersections along Solida Road in the interchange area and heavy traffic along Collins Avenue makes for undesirable traffic operations.

The goal is to improve the traffic flow coming in and out of the South Point industrial park by creating a single lane, combined roundabout that includes Collins Avenue, the eastbound U.S. 52 ramps, and Solida Road roadways. The eastbound U.S. 52 exit ramp, in addition to an approach intersecting Collins Avenue, will have a westbound bypass lane to Collins Avenue.

A loon, which is pavement outside of the normal traffic lanes to allow for larger vehicles to safely make a U-turn on a divided roadway, will be constructed to accommodate residential traffic from westbound traffic on Collins Avenue, destined for Conley Street.

With all the road construction, ODOT cautions drivers about driving carefully in work zones. Despite a near-record level of road work, last year saw the second lowest number of work zone crashes in a decade in Ohio.

There were 4,891 work zone crashes, resulting in 119 serious injuries and 19 deaths.

The vast majority of these crashes were caused by drivers following too close.

“We need drivers to pay attention every moment they are behind the wheel, but it’s even more vital in work zones. These zones often contain narrow lanes and changing traffic patterns.

When driving through work zones, drivers need to leave more room between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them, slow down, pay attention, and avoid all distractions,” ODOT Director Jerry Wray said.

ODOT crews were struck 152 times last year. Ohio law requires that drivers move over or slow down when they see our crews working along the roadway.