Commissioners vote to endorse naming of bypass

June 20, 2013

Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

At the Thursday meeting of the Scioto County Commissioners a measure endorsing the naming of the Portsmouth Bypass as the Veterans Memorial Highway was passed.

The endorsement came on the recommendation of members of the Southern Ohio War Memorial.

Commissioners Mike Crabtree, Doug Coleman and Skip Riffe voted in favor of the measure.

Steve Faulkner, Press Secretary for Ohio Department Of Transportation (ODOT) said the naming of a memorial highway typically has to come through the Ohio legislature.

“Typically, those (naming of a memorial highways) are done for fallen service members. What usually happens in this process is that ODOT has one function, we make the sign and put it up,” Faulkner said. “That process is mandate through the legislature. Typically a legislative member will introduce a piece a legislation that says I want to name, for example, a portion of U.S. 23 from mile marker X to mile marker X, or through Scioto County, they (the legislature) have all kinds of designations.”

When informed of the action by the Scioto County Commissioners, Faulkner said it was “interesting.”

He said another avenue the commissioners could take is, “They (the commissioners) can pass a resolution to petition the director of ODOT to consider naming a section of roadway a certain name,” Faulkner said. “That does not mean that roadway gets that name. We’re also talking about a roadway that has not been built yet. We don’t even have a contract for it.”

Earlier this month ODOT issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) to potential contractors for several aspects of the Portsmouth Bypass.

The introduction to the 78-page document states, “ODOT intends to enter into a Public Private Agreement for the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of the Portsmouth Bypass. The project will be a four-lane, divided, limited-access highway around the city of Portsmouth in Scioto County. The highway designated State Route 823 is comprised of 16 miles of new highway, bypassing approximately 26 miles of U.S. 52 and U.S. 23 through Portsmouth, Ohio.”

For more information about the bypass, visit www.portsmouthbypass.com or call 888-819-8501, ext. 774-8834.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or tallen@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.