Crews have been on the job for several months, working on the construction of the Southern Ohio Veterans Memorial Highway (Ohio 823). Because of the work crews have been doing, people are beginning to see the construction of retaining walls and footers for bridges that will be a part of the highway.
Once constructed the $429 million, Southern Ohio Veterans Memorial Highway will be 17.3 miles, 4 lane divided, limited access highway. In total the roadway will have 72 lane-miles. There will be five major interchanges with two partial interchanges. The roadway is anticipated to have an average daily traffic of up to 14,500 vehicles.
When asked about the progress of construction of the new highway Kathleen Fuller, Ohio Department of Transportation District 9 Spokeswoman said, things are going well.
Fuller said activities associated with construction are really ramping up.
“There are a lot of activities around the segments in Sciotoville. They’re doing a lot of prepping for bridge construction in that area,” Fuller said.
She said there has been some wall construction around Fairground Road and people should begin to see some piling for bridges being constructed, soon.
“There will be a lot of bridge construction activity this summer. A lot of things will be happening,” Fuller said.
She said crews on the project are starting to work extended hours to complete particular tasks and staffing levels have began to increase was well.
Over the course of construction there will be an estimated 25 million cubic yards of excavation, to make way for the roadway. The tallest bridge on the highway will be over 124 feet, with culverts along the roadway as long as 900 feet and as deep as 190 feet.
As a part of the project all culverts on township and county roads affected by the project will be replaced over the course of the project. There will be 85 culverts equal to nearly five miles long.
In making room for the highway some blasting work will need to be done. There will be 400 semi-truck loads of explosives used, 260 miles of holes drilled for blasting.
There will be 4.5 million pounds of rebar used, 402,200 tons of asphalt and 24,520 cubic yards of concrete used.
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.
After completion the Portsmouth Gateway Group will operate and maintain the roadway for 35 years.
ODOT in conjunction with project developer Portsmouth Gateway Group have taken the project to social media, Facebook and Instagram accounts have been setup. Though those accounts pictures and information are shared with those interested.
For more information about the project or the Portsmouth Gateway Group visit, www.pgg823.com.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT