Ryan Scott Ottney
PDT Staff Writer
NEW BOSTON — After seven months of road work and traffic detours, the Ohio Department of Transportation on Monday said they are nearly complete with their slip repair project on Ohio 139 in New Boston. ODOT spokesperson Kathleen Fuller said the retaining wall has been poured, and the road will be repaved before being reopened in mid-November.
“Our guys in construction are telling me around the middle of the month (of November). Of course they don’t want to be too optimistic,” Fuller said.
ODOT closed Ohio 139 in New Boston on March 5 to begin a 180-day slip repair project. After the hillside slip project is complete, ODOT will resurface 139 between the New Boston corporation line at Blaine Avenue to U.S. 52 East.
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.
“The wall itself has been completed and poured. They just have to do like an epoxy-coating, and then they have to start working so they can finish up the roadway items,” Fuller said. “There’s a chance they could always re-open traffic on it without the paving work done, but we’d like to go ahead and get all of that done if the weather holds.”
One consideration pushing them along is the fact that asphalt plants typically close at the end of October, she said.
“I think the weather — typically we’re dipping down to pretty cold temperatures at night but it is warming up enough in the day that paving can be done. We’re not doing an overnight operation there, so that shouldn’t be a factor. At least, we’re hoping it’s not,” Fuller said.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 235, or firstname.lastname@example.org.