The Ohio Department of Transportation wants to start demolishing property in Sciotoville in preparation for the Portsmouth Bypass.
“We have acquired 13 properties,” ODOT District 9 Public Information Officer Kathleen Fuller said. “This will be the first wave.”
The properties include houses, garages and other types of buildings.
The bypass is a $400 million project that will extend from near Ohio 140 at Sciotoville and Porter Township to U.S. 23 in Lucasville.
ODOT would like to start construction in January 2009, but that is not a definite date.
Portsmouth City Council on Tuesday cleared the way for the demolitions by passing an ordinance which authorized the demolition on ODOT's request.
“We do that for all projects we do,” Fuller said. “We send out notices to the local government informing them of what we want to do.”
The ordinance gave the city's consent for the demolitions, along with a pledge of cooperation.
That is the extent of the city's involvement because ODOT contractors will actually demolish the buildings.
The demolitions will cost about $200,000, which will come from state and federal funds.
Fuller said ODOT will buy property as needed in the future.
She said buying and demolishing property in stages makes it easier for ODOT to help those who are displaced from their homes.
“We're still working on the final design for the project,” Fuller said. “So we won't be doing any construction until that is done. The demolitions will just clear the way for when we are ready to start construction.”
Demolition also clears any potential liability problems ODOT could have should it leave the houses and buildings standing.
Besides completing the final design of the project and buying property, ODOT reportedly will work on funding for the bypass project.
JEFF BARRON can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 236.