By Wayne Allen
In anticipation of starting some of the necessary blasting work for the construction of the Southern Ohio Veterans Memorial Highway, a public meeting will be held Wednesday evening to inform those interested about upcoming work.
The upcoming pubic meeting will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 12, 6-8 p.m. at ODOT’s project field office, 4301-A-Lucasville Minford Road. Representatives from the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Portsmouth Gateway Group will anticipated to be in attendance at the meeting to help answer questions and outline operations.
There will be an estimated 400 semi-truck loads of explosives used and there will be 260 miles of holes drilled for blasting, used over the course of the project. The Ohio Department of Transportation awarded a contract last fall to the Portsmouth Gateway Group for development of the Southern Ohio Veterans Memorial Highway project.
Completion of the new roadway is targeted for December 2018. Once built, the new S.R. 823 will complete the Ohio’s missing link of the Appalachian Development Highway System.
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.
Some local roads have been closed as apart of the project and will remain closed over the course of the project.
Township Road 234 (Shumway Hollow Road) between S.R. 335 and C.R. 31 (Swauger Valley Road) for its relocation and interchange construction at S.R. 335. The closure is scheduled to be in effect through the duration of the project, and while it is closed, thru-traffic motorists may detour locally via Blake Hollow Road.
Once constructed the Portsmouth Gateway Group will maintain the roadway for 35 years.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT