By WAYNE ALLEN
PDT Staff Writer
In August 2010 ODOT announced a $13.5 million project for three resurfacing projects along U.S. 52. ODOT officials on Tuesday say those projects are in the final stages of completion.
When the idea of the first phase of the U.S. 52 paving project was proposed in 2010 ODOT asked the City of Portsmouth to pay for a portion of the project, estimated at $700,000.
The city said it did not have the available funds for the local match.
“Because this project had been though the process of getting its federal authorization, when we re-applied for stimulus funding for this project, it was not approved by the Federal Highway Commission,” said Kathleen Fuller, ODOT District 9 spokeswoman. “(ODOT) central office had some leftover stimulus funding, due to projects coming in under budget. What we had wanted to do was put that money toward this (U.S. 52 paving) project.”
Fuller said ODOT had put that idea through the process and with the Federal Highway Commission rejection the project could not be funded with stimulus dollars.
The project repaired the existing surface and placed a new surface over the base of U.S. 52. ODOT is also paving Ohio 139 to the city limits at Ohio 140, in addition to a quarter-mile of Ohio 335. Also, Ohio 140 to Wheelersburg is being paved.
The original target date for the completion of the project was Oct. 31.
Fuller said the first and last section of the three-section project are the last two to be done.
“The middle section is done. The first and last section have a little bit of finishing work that has to be done. They (contractors) should be lifting lane restrictions,” Fuller said.
All three contracts were awarded to the Shelly Company of Thornville, Ohio.