By Wayne Allen
Common Staff Writer
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be holding a public meeting on March 15th regarding water quality impacts of the proposed Portsmouth Bypass. The meeting will be held at Portsmouth High School starting at 6 p.m.
The Portsmouth Bypass is being proposed by the Ohio Department Of Transportation (ODOT). According to EPA information there is an “a three-mile stretch of limited access highway in Scioto County that would be part of the Appalachian Development Highway system.”
Phase one of the construction is from Shumway Hollow Road to Lucasville Minford Road and is expected to cost an estimated $83 million with a time frame of three years to complete.
Phase two of the construction has a five-year time frame for completion. Construction is set to begin at Lucasville Minford Road to U.S. 23 and is expected to cost about $242 million.
Phase three is estimated to begin in 2017. Construction is slated for Shumway Hollow Road south to U.S. 52. This phase is expected to cost $281 million.
The construction cost is estimated at $405 million. The grand total project cost is estimated at more than $650 million.
According to EPA information the first phase of construction would include four bridges and two interchanges. “Discharges from the construction and development activities, if approved, would result in lowering the water quality of streams, wetlands, ditches and ponds in the Little Scioto River watershed.”
If the permits are approved ODOT would assume responsibility for any impacts on area water streams.
Ohio EPA is also accepting written comments through March 22. Written comments can be mailed to Ohio EPA-Division of Surface Water, Attention; Permits Processing Unit, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216.
For more information about the bypass visit www.portsmouthbypass.com or call 888-819-8501, ext. 774-8834.