Last updated: July 24. 2013 2:24PM - 229 Views

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Bob Strickley

PDT Content Manager

Solid Rock Construction Company of West Portsmouth began the demolition of 25 vacant homes as part of its contract with the City of Portsmouth and the Gateway Project this week.

Abandoned homes on Scioto Trail, Gallia Street, Walnut Street, Robinson Avenue and many others will be coming down over the span of a month, according to Portsmouth City Health Commissioner Chris Smith.

“They have started coming down, I do know they have brought down one and have started on another today,” Smith said.

The rate of one, possibly two houses a day would put the process on an optimistic time line.

“That would be wonderful, I would love to see them down in another month, maybe a month and a half,” Smith said.

Feedback from residents occupying nearby homes since the process began has been minimal.

“With the cold weather I don’t know that anybody has really been out that much right now so we haven’t heard back from anybody yet,” Smith said. “I’m assuming all the citizens will be pretty happy when they drive through town.”

The 25 homes being torn down is just one step in the Gateway Project. According to the Scioto County Health Coalition, the short-term strategic goal of the Gateway Project is to revitalize the main routes through Portsmouth, to improve the perception of the city and to encourage outside investment in Scioto County.

The Gateway area consists of Scioto Trail from the Portsmouth City limits to U.S. 52 East. The area also consists of U.S. 52 both East and West, from the Portsmouth City limits near OSCO to the New Boston Village limits.

This particular wave of demolitions was awarded to Solid Rock Construction after its low bid of $127,700.

Though removing 25 eyesores from the city is a productive step, Smith and the others associated with the Gateway Project are aiming much higher.

“The next step is going to be going to council and requesting additional funds to tear another hundred of these vacant homes down,” he said.

Bob Strickley can be reached at 353-3101, ext. 296, or bstrickley@civitasmedia.com.

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