The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) announced Tuesday the department was completing nine projects this year in Athens County.

In Athens County, more than $7 million will be invested into nine projects.

That includes:

  • Resurfacing on State Routes 329, 682, and 691
  • Landslide repairs on U.S. 33 and SR 56
  • Bridge work on U.S. 50, SR 13, and Woodlane Drive in Nelsonville
  • Culvert work on U.S. 50
  • Pedestrian improvements on SR 13 in the Village of Glouster

The spending emphasis this year in Athens County is on resurfacing, landslide and bridge and culvert work, ODOT Spokesperson Ashley Rittenhouse said.

The pedestrian improvements in Glouster, which include crosswalk markings, LED enhanced signs, curb ramps, and sidewalks are among these projects, a release stated. The project will cost $62,000, according to the ODOT District 10 construction guide.

ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks said in a statement the department wanted to increase pedestrian safety.

“We engineer our roads to be as safe as possible, but we need motorists to do their part by obeying speed limits, paying attention, buckling up, and driving sober. Please pay attention to the traffic and roads, not your phones,” said Marchbanks.

Statewide funding will help target more than 150 intersections prioritized by Gov. DeWine in early 2019.

These projects include simple adjustments like changing signage and striping to more complex solutions like the full reconstruction of an intersection, a release said.

To date, 36 locations statewide have been completed, 43 are under or will soon begin construction this year, 101 are under design, and four are still being studied. These safety improvements will no doubt save lives.

According to the guide, the state will also replace the Woodlane Drive bridge over Monday Creek, at a cost of $555,847. Woodlane Drive will be closed at the Monday Creek bridge between Pleasantview Avenue and Sylvania Avenue, starting Monday, April 12, until approximately Monday, Aug. 2, The Messenger previously reported.

ODOT will also be investing $1,695,918 into bridge repainting on rolling Hills Acres Road (Township Road 1223).

There will also be repaving along State Route 682 between 5th Street and U.S.33 State Route 691 between State Route 56 and Nelsonville, to the tune of $1,616,161.

The state will also spend $1,572,686 on various two-lane resurfacing in Athens, Vinton and Morgan Counties, according to the guide.

In a statement, Marchbanks said he thanked Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and the General Assembly for allocating significant funding for projects.

“Thanks to the foresight of Gov. DeWine and the Ohio General Assembly and internal operational savings identified by our workforce, we have been able to weather this global pandemic.” Marchbanks said in a statement. “Without those extra funds, we would be nearly a billion dollars in the red,”“While other states have been delaying or cancelling projects, Ohio continues moving forward.”

Rittenhouse said she wants to emphasize that drivers should be paying extra attention in work zones, and be aware of workers who may be on the sites.

“Bottom line — these people are just doing their jobs — and want to get home to their families each day,” Rittenhouse said.

There were 4,536 work zone crashes in Ohio last year, according to a release. 18 crashes were fatal, and 96 resulted in serious injuries. ODOT will continue to work with the Ohio State Highway Patrol for targeting enforcement of traffic laws in work zones.

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