Ryan Scott Ottney
PDT Staff Writer
NEW BOSTON — The slip repair and paving project on Ohio 139 in New Boston was expected to be done this week. After nine months the new tie-back wall is complete and the road has been paved. So many are asking, ‘why is it still closed?’ Kathleen Fuller, spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Transportation, explained that crews are putting the finishing touches on sidewalks and curbs now, and the road will be open to evening and weekend traffic when crews are not working.
Fuller said work could extend as far as into the week of Nov. 26, because crews will only work Monday and Tuesday next week and a short day on Wednesday, Nov. 21 and then will stay off throughout the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. In the meantime, she said, the road will only be closed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. while crews are working; and will be open while they are not working.
“If they can get everything done before then (Nov. 21), they won’t be back. We’re getting very close,” Fuller said.
ODOT closed Ohio 139 in New Boston on March 5 to begin a 180-day slip repair project. The $1.6 million state contract was awarded to Complete General Construction, in Columbus with a target completion of fall 2012. In the meantime, ODOT has detoured traffic on U.S. 23 and U.S. 52, re-routing traffic far in advance to Ohio 335 to avoid traffic on Ohio 139. The village of New Boston also set up local detours on Oak, Cedar and Maple streets, causing lengthy traffic tie-ups on Lakeview Avenue.
The road project was placed on temporary hold in late April after steel beams used in the retaining wall began failing beneath the weight of the hillside. The state ordered a redesign to correct the problem, and the crews went back to work in May. The redesigned features, however, did not work as well as planned, and the project went on hold again last month, waiting for another redesign. That redesign reportedly cost the state of Ohio an additional $160,000.
Fuller said the redesigned wall turned out to be very successful and will be a model used in other parts of the state.
“This project — this is a different way they’ve reconstructed this wall, and this hillside is completely different, and I think this is the way we’re going to be going with a couple of projects in Lawrence for these tie-back constructions. It’s just going to be so much better. We suffer such bad slips and slides in this part of southern Ohio,” Fuller said.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or email@example.com.