By Tom Corrigan

Police Chief Robert Ware indicated the city of Portsmouth will be proud to host the Ohio Senior Olympics State Games Cycling qualifier races beginning early the morning of June 23. However, he added a number of traffic closures will be in effect to facilitate the creation of two courses.

Ware said parking restrictions will be in effect 5:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday on the following streets/areas within the race routes:

– Front Street west of the intersection with Court Street

– Alexandria Park

–Second Street west of the intersection with Madison Street and between the intersections of Washington and Court streets

–Third Street between Madison and Washington streets

–All of Court Street except the 200 block

–Eighth Street between Court and Washington streets

State Route 73/104 will be detoured around the race course except that customers can still access the Bridge Street Carryout via the Second Street Bridge.

Officers will be stationed at the following intersections to allow residents, business owners and visitors to cross the route at intermittent times during the morning events: Second Street at Madison Street, Fifth Street at Washington and Court streets during the 10K and 20K events; and Market Street at Third Street during the 5K event.

Traffic wishing to enter the riverfront will need to enter and exit through the Offnere Street landing to ensure uninterrupted access.

Here are some other details regarding the races as released by the city:

– Early check-in for participants is 7-9 p.m. Saturday at the Portsmouth Brewery on Second Street. Mention the Ohio Senior Olympics and 10 percent of your bill will benefit the Portsmouth cycling club.

– Race day check-in begins 6 a.m. at the Scioto County Welcome Center and runs throughout the day. Participants are asked to check in no later than 30 minutes before their event.

– There is parking throughout the city of Portsmouth and the Welcome Center lot will be open until 6 a.m. when the course will close to traffic. The nearest lot is 834 Front St.

Again, according to city police, the 20K race begins at 7 a.m. The 10K starts at approximately 9:30 a.m., the 5K at roughly 11:30 a.m. Riders will start every minute for both the 5- and 10K races. If a rider scratches for whatever reason, a ghost rider will start in place of the athlete to keep spacing consistent. The starting order for each event was included in the email sent to every registered rider.

Ware said all effected streets will be closed curb-to-curb.