Don’t hold your breath, but it is possible that in the next few days there will be no restrictions on U.S. 52 (11th Street) in Portsmouth. On Wednesday, Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Public Information officer Kathleen Fuller told the Daily Times, Allard Excavation, a local company based in South Webster, is finished with the actual paving project.
“Now it’s striping and they’ll finish up on some manhole covers they’ll have to do some adjustments on, a little finishing work,” Fuller said. “There’s still going to be some restrictions in place. They’ll start to localize the restrictions. They’ll be restricting traffic just where they’re working. Within the next week we should pretty much see all restrictions lifted.”
Fuller said the company doing the paving is ready to begin another project for the city of Portsmouth.
“Allard will get started next Wednesday on 52 for the rock project we’re doing for the city,” Fuller said. “They’re going to start putting traffic restrictions for eastbound only. The westbound will be open to two lanes, but eastbound will be restricted to one lane where the rock is between the bridge and (Ohio) 335 going up to the corporation limit there at New Boston. The subcontracted scalers will be getting started soon with that project. That’s one that people have had a lot of concerns about.”
Fuller said the U.S. Grant Bridge project is continuing through middle to late October.
“It was the end of October, but my understanding is it should be done before then, because we have a date in the middle of October. We don’t want it to get to cold,” Fuller said. “With any kind of asphalt or concrete you want to make sure the weather is warm enough when you’re laying it down.”
While the structure itself is in good condition, crews from Bridge Specialists, Inc. are resurfacing the deck with a concrete overlay, as well as applying resin and sealant to the bridge joints, to extend the life of the pavement and safeguard the deck.
After an original plan to maintain single lane traffic during the project, it was determined closing the bridge to traffic during construction was done in the best interest of both the motorists and the contractors, as it allows crews to work more safely and efficiently and facilitates completion in about half the time.
“Ideally, we wouldn’t schedule multiple projects in a specific area or region at the same time given the traffic impact to motorists, residents and businesses,” ODOT district 9 Deputy Director Vaughn Wilson said. “However, we are entrusted by the taxpayers and by the people of not only Scioto County but all of Ohio to preserve the highway system, and we must schedule projects within the confines of the planning, engineering, funding and letting process.”
Fuller said ODOT expects the bridge to be open to traffic the middle of October, but the company will still have some finishing work to do, but nothing that would impede traffic.
One of the ways motorists can know what areas to avoid is by using ODOT’s new mobile app – OHGO – for personal traffic alerts, information on road construction and travel delays, and hands-free voice on the go. The app is free and is available on the App Store and Google Play.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.