(District 9 Deputy Director Vaughn Wilson (facing, far right) listens in as Highland County Engineer Dean Otworth shares information regarding upcoming work. Also pictured at District 9's construction kick-off open house are (l-r) Sheriff Donnie Barreras, Public Works Superintendent Shawn Adkins with the city of Hillsboro and Highland County ODOT's Phil Davis.)
This year, the Ohio Department of Transportation is investing $2.35 billion into nearly 1,000 projects that will preserve existing roads and bridges, enhance capacity, and improve safety.
“Roads and bridges don’t get better over time. That’s why 90 cents of every dollar we’re investing this year is to take care of what we have,” said ODOT Director Jerry Wray. “We’re using better data and more frequent maintenance to address the small issues with our infrastructure before they become big issues.”
Today, April 4, ODOT’s District 9 hosted an open house at the Highland County Highway Maintenance Facility to outline projects that will be under way this construction season.
“In District 9, motorists will see work on more than 75 preservation, maintenance and safety projects across the eight-county region,” said ODOT District 9 Deputy Director Vaughn Wilson, noting that the department will be administering more than $14 million worth of projects in Highland County.
Included in this are bridge replacements on S.R. 73, S.R. 134, S.R. 138, U.S. 50 and U.S. 62; resurfacing projects on U.S. 50 in Hillsboro and S.R. 124 between Hillsboro and the community of Marshall; a $1.15 million minor widening project on Harry Sauner Road, between High Street and Roberts Lane; and the $6.3 million widening project on S.R. 73 and C.R. 5 (Prospect Road).
Elsewhere in the district, this year’s $79 million program will feature resurfacing sections of U.S. 35 in Jackson and Ross counties; an intersection improvement and bridge replacement on S.R. 124 in Pike County; and an interchange improvement at U.S. 52 and County Road 18 (Solida Road) in Lawrence County.
Joining Deputy Director Vaughn Wilson for the construction kickoff was Highland County Engineer Dean Otworth, who provided additional information about the ongoing S.R. 73-Prospect Road project, as well as upcoming work on several county roads under his jurisdiction.
“This is a multi-phase project that will widen Prospect Road and improve the sight distance at the intersection with S.R. 73,” said Otworth. “Construction has already begun, and the overall completion is slated for summer of 2019.”
Otworth also noted that the Highland County Commissioners will open bids Thursday, April 5, for concrete pipe to be used at 26 different installations in the county and for two concrete box culverts to be installed on Dawson and Sharpsville roads. All of this work, along with culvert replacement projects on Sinking Spring, Harriett and Bectal roads, will be done by the county’s highway crews during the coming months.
While orange barrels can be an inconvenience, they are a sign of progress and improvement. Since 2011, ODOT has invested an unprecedented $16.4 billion into 7,918 projects across the state. ODOT is responsible for maintaining 43,211 lane miles of roadway and 14,095 bridges. Ohio has the 4th largest interstate system by lane miles. Ohio’s transportation infrastructure supports the state’s 6.5 million jobs.