Bypass blasting starts next week

By Wayne Allen

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The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) announced blasting work is anticipated to start next week on the Southern Ohio Veterans Memorial Highway. In early August, a public meeting was held to inform the community about blasting operations. The contractor conducting blasting operations also went door-to-door informing those that would be affected about blasting operations as well.

“They (Sauls Seismic, LLC) have a consultant that comes and interviews the folks and takes pictures of their homes inside and out. (They do this) to establish a baseline on the homes condition, so if there is any potential damage in the future caused by the blasting. Both parties have a good understa nding what the condition was prior,” said Tom Barnitz, Southern Ohio Veterans Memorial Highway Project Manager for ODOT.

There is no damage planned, because of strict engineering that’s been done.

Kathleen Fuller, ODOT District 9 Spokeswoman said originally blasting work was anticipated to start this week, but was delayed. She said blasting work is anticipated to commence Tuesday and will continue throughout the duration of the project.

Once blasting operations start there is anticipated to be no impact to traffic, but residents in the general project area may experience sound or vibrations from the blasting, which are expected to occur weekdays during the noon hour and again in late afternoon or early evening.

Officials with the project estimate there will be an estimated 400 semi-truck loads of explosives used and there will be 260 miles of holes drilled for blasting.

As part of the project, Shumway Hollow Road has been closed for relocation and interchange construction. The closure will be in effect throughout the duration of the project.

Once constructed The Southern Ohio Veterans Memorial Highway is a 16-mile, limited access, four-lane highway that will bypass about 26 miles of U.S. 52 and U.S. 23 in Portsmouth. Once completed, ODOT estimates it will reduce travel time by 16 minutes compared to the alternative routes in the area. The target completion date is December 2018.

For more information about the Portsmouth Gateway Group visit,

Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT

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