Earlier this week the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Portsmouth Gateway Group (PGG) held an open house on the progress being made on the construction of the Southern Ohio Veterans Memorial Highway in Scioto County.
ODOT and PGG also took officials on a limited tour of areas of the project under construction. Those on the tour included Scioto County Commissioners Mike Crabtree and Bryan Davis.
Crabtree has a background in construction and said he’s been involved in several bypass projects over the years.
In reaction to the tour Crabtree said, it was obvious a lot of work has been done on various aspects of the project.
“It’s obvious they’ve moved a lot of dirt and are coming along with the bridge construction,” Crabtree said.
He said the project has been a good thing for Scioto County and its workforce.
According to ODOT, 80 percent of the total workforce on the project is considered local.
“This has been a great thing for Scioto County. We’ve consistently seen higher sales tax revenue, that’s due in part to the project construction,” Crabtree said.
He said while the project construction has been ongoing, there has been some conversations within county government about making improvements to county infrastructure, to anticipate an increase use. There has been a lot of conversations around the Greater Portsmouth Regional Airport among other things.
Kathleen Fuller, public information officer with ODOT, said people at the open house were very positive and expressed excitement to learn the project has taken great strides towards becoming a reality.
Once constructed, the roadway will have 72 lane-miles. There will be five major interchanges with two partial interchanges. The roadway is anticipated to have an average daily traffic of up to 14,500 vehicles.
The project is a 16-mile, limited access, four-lane highway that will bypass about 26 miles of U.S. 52 and U.S. 23 in Portsmouth. Once completed, ODOT estimates it will reduce travel time by 16 minutes compared to the alternative routes in the area.
There will be an estimated 25 million cubic yards of excavation to make way for the roadway. The tallest bridge on the highway will be over 124 feet, with culverts along the roadway as long as 900 feet and as deep as 190 feet.
As a part of the project, all culverts on township and county roads affected by the project will be replaced over the course of the project. There will be 85 culverts equal to nearly five miles long.
There will be 4.5 million pounds of rebar used, 402,200 tons of asphalt and 24,520 cubic yards of concrete used.
After completion, the Portsmouth Gateway Group will operate and maintain the roadway for 35 years.
ODOT in conjunction with PGG have taken the project to social media, Facebook and Instagram accounts have been setup. Though those accounts pictures and information are shared.
For more information about the Portsmouth Gateway Group visit, www.pgg823.com.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101 ext. 1933 or @WayneallenPDT on Twitter