MARIETTA — For southeastern Ohio motorists 2013 represented a year of firsts, highlighted by the first-ever double roundabout interchange at U.S. 33 and Ohio 664 in Hocking County, as well as the opening of the U.S. 33 Nelsonville Bypass on Oct. 1.
“This was truly a monumental year for transportation investment in southeastern Ohio,” said Ohio Department of Transportation District 10 Deputy Director Steve Williams. “We not only opened the region’s largest construction project in the Nelsonville Bypass, but also improved safety and access for all users of transportation.”
Other construction accomplishments include the relocation and widening of Ohio 664 near Old Man’s Cave, one of Ohio’s most visited state park attractions as well as the upgrade of Monastery Rd. to become Ohio 607 in Morgan County. During the 2013 constructions season, District 10 awarded 75 projects worth more than $65 million.
Through the department’s Local-Let Program, ODOT also assisted several local governments in constructing or maintaining their infrastructure. The $3 million Richland Ave. Oxbow Bridge rehabilitation completed by the city of Athens is a great example of working with our local transportation partners to improve safety for motorists and pedestrians.
In addition, the Gallia County Engineer’s Office paved more than 30 miles of county roads with funding through the Local-Let Program. Also within the District 10 Office of Planning, the Office of Environmental Services cleared more than 70 documents allowing ODOT to develop projects much faster.
As part of its safety program, District 10 updated 19 traffic signal controllers at various intersections across the region. As well, the department upgraded signs at 23 intersections, installed more than 200 guardrail end terminals and modernized three wet pavement crash locations along major state routes. These upgrades translate to safer and more efficient travel along the region’s highways and bridges.
ODOT District 10 county maintenance crews also implemented several ‘firsts’ this year. For instance, the district restructured and created a regional paving operation with a dedicated paving crew rather than sharing the equipment between the counties. This restructuring, coupled with renting the appropriate compaction equipment, has enhanced the amount and quality of pavement repairs throughout the district. As well, the district had its first experience with a new tree trimmer and brush shredder in Noble and Washington counties.
The recently updated ‘Move Over Law’ requires motorists to slow down and shift over to an adjacent lane when approaching construction and maintenance crews. Under the previous law, motorists were required to do so only when approaching police and other emergency vehicles, including tow trucks.
When compared to 2012, District 10 has saved more than $1.4 million in 2013 through attrition and operational efficiencies which has then been reinvested back into southeastern Ohio transportation infrastructure.