By action of the Scioto County Commissioners on Tuesday the weight limit on Lucasville Minford Road has been reduced from 40 tons to 10 tons. The limitation was put in place, after it was discovered that the road has shifted.
Scioto County Engineer said the limitation was necessary after a two inch shift in the roadway. Opperman said after consultation with officials from the Portsmouth Gateway Group (PGG), Southern Ohio Veterans Memorial Highway Developer, the weight restriction was sought.
Opperman said the shift occurred close to where the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and PGG has their offices.
He said there is a large culvert under that particular portion of the road and the soil around it has moved.
“It’s right where they are placing the fill (dirt for the bridge), going over top off Lucasville Minford Road” Opperman said.
He believes the shifting is a result of the fill dirt being brought to the area to make the embankment of the bridge.
“The pavement has shifted two inches horizontally,” Opperman said. “We identified this yesterday (Monday) and called in ODOT at the developer (PGG) for the site. We had a field discussion and they called in their geotechnical engineers and they are evaluating how this (a lower weight limitation) is going to affect things.”
Opperman said PGG sealed the crack caused by the shift, because of the rain that’s expected Tuesday afternoon. He said PGG is also looking over data available to them on what’s happening with the soil.
“When large trucks go across this thing (shift in the road) the ground is moving under your feet,” Opperman said. “We wanted to get a weight limit place on there, to get the large trucks pulled off of it, to not create any additional damage to the roadway.”
Opperman acknowledged the weight limitation is interference for a lot of people.
“It’s effecting our operations, it’s effecting their (PGG) operations,” Opperman said.
Opperman said people are working towards a solution quickly. He said most of the heavy loads are now running down other area roads, until a solution to this issue can be found and the weight limit can be changed back.
As a part of the Southern Ohio Veterans Memorial Highway, Lucasville Minford Road is slated to be reconstructed.
“They are trying to get this thing nursed along until they get there, because next year is when they are planning on reconstructing that,” Opperman said. “It’s (Lucasville Minford Road) always had its fair share of truck traffic and we’re running quite a few heavy loads across it, hauling all of this heavy equipment. Almost everything is going down Lucasville Minford Road.”
Opperman said one of the temporary solutions include bracing the inside of the culvert.
“Until we have the opportunity to evaluate the situation, we’re taking the preemptive strike to make sure we don’t have something happen. Because you can be out there and feel the ground shake around the structure,” Opperman said. “By reducing it (weight limit) down to ten tons, we’re taking the heavy loads off of it and you’re taking the impact and vibration off of it.”
Opperman said shifting the heavy loads to others will not shift the burden. He said the issue is localized on Lucasville Minford Road and must be addressed.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT