By RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY
PDT Staff Writer
NEW BOSTON — The State of Ohio is preparing to begin work on Ohio 139 in New Boston, which is expected to have part of the highway closed for as much as seven months.
On March 5, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will begin a $1.6 million road project.
“They’re going to be taking the slip off the side of the hill across from Spruce Street, where it’s slipping down onto the road (on Ohio 139),” said New Boston Village Administrator Steve Hamilton. “They are going to put some rock anchor tie-backs into the hill to keep it from further slipping. They’re going to be taking all the vegetation off there — they call it grubbing — and they’ve got to take most of the dirt out. The reason they’ve got to shut part of 139 down is they have to put that dirt out onto the road to get up in there and do their work.”
While work is being done, parts of Ohio 139’s north and south lanes will be closed entirely between Pine and Cedar streets.
Pine and Cedar streets will both remain open during the work. Spruce Street, located in the middle of the work area, will be closed at the 139 end. The street will be open for residential, two-way traffic only, to allow residents on and off the narrow street.
Southbound vehicle traffic on 139 will be detoured down Cedar and Maple streets, to Lakeview Avenue. All southbound large truck traffic must detour on Maple Street only. The village will be installing updated controls at the existing traffic light at the intersection of Lakeview and 52 West to better regulate the flow of vehicles passing through New Boston.
Vehicle traffic on 139 northbound will be detoured from Lakeview Avenue to Oak and York streets, to connect with 139 north on the other side of the work zone. All northbound large truck traffic must detour on York Street only.
Detour notices will also be set up on U.S. 23 and U.S. 52, re-routing traffic far in advance to Ohio 335.
After the hillside project is complete, ODOT will resurface 139 between the New Boston corporation line at Blaine Avenue to U.S. 52 East. During the resurfacing project, 139 will be open to one-lane traffic only.
The entire project is expected to be completed by Oct. 21, 2012.
“If something happens it could go longer, but they’re hoping they’ll be done before that date,” Hamilton said.
Traffic patterns in New Boston could become even more difficult later this year. Construction of the new school on Lakeview Avenue is expected to be complete this summer — and the village, along with the Scioto County Engineer’s Office, has received a $75,000 matching-funds grant to resurface Lakeview Avenue. If the ODOT-139 project is not complete before the village’s Lakeview project begins, traffic will be even more complicated to detour.
“If people can find an alternate route it would be better, because traffic is going to be backed up,” Hamilton said. “Just be courteous and don’t be speeding down the alleys. Give yourself a little more time when you know you have to be coming through the village because we do have children out playing in the alleys behind their houses.”
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 235, or firstname.lastname@example.org.