By RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY
PDT Staff Writer
NEW BOSTON — Some motorists in New Boston still aren’t used to newly detoured traffic patterns caused by an Ohio Department of Transportation project on Ohio 139, but they’ll have lots of time. Originally scheduled to complete by Oct. 22, now the road project might be extended through December.
“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.
Despite several published media notices and road signs warning of the closure ahead, motorists were still caught off guard by the project when it began Monday. Residents living in the surrounding neighborhoods reported speeding traffic and drivers going the wrong way on a one-way street to avoid the closure. Hamilton said it’s going to take some time before people are familiar with the project and better plan their route around them. In the meantime, signs have been posted to remind voters of one-way streets, and police will be watching for traffic violations.
On Tuesday, the Scioto County Commissioners accepted a letter from the Ohio Department of Transportation granting a request to extend the project as late as Dec. 31, 2012.
Hamilton said he still expects it to be finished long before that date.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 235, or firstname.lastname@example.org.