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Nelsonville Bypass Update:
Workers log more than 70,000 hours building new highway
Since breaking ground October 13, 2009 on Ohio’s single largest transportation stimulus investment, Phase II and III of U.S. Route 33 Nelsonville Bypass, workers have logged more than 70,000 hours building the new 8.5 mile realignment.
With investment from the American Recovery and Reinvestment ACT (ARRA) construction on the new highway was catapulted nearly six years ahead of schedule – with an estimated completion date of July 2013.
“This historic investment has been decades in the making,” said ODOT District 10 Deputy Director, Karen Pawloski. “Not only is this project going to make travel safer for motorists, but thanks to Governor Strickland’s support of the stimulus package, the bypass has already put more than two hundred fifty Ohioans to work in only nine months.”
As of January 1, 2010, contractors have paid out more than $2.1 million dollars in paychecks.
Phase II Update
To date, Kokosing Construction Company has excavated more than 1.1 million cubic yards of dirt and embankment. In addition, the new alignment requires two valleys to be filled with more than 3 million cubic yards of dirt.
“We have three crews aggressively excavating dirt,” said ODOT Project Engineer Cary Betzing. “In a ten hour shift we can excavate up to twenty-four thousand cubic yards of dirt.”
With millions of yards of dirt left to excavate, soil stability is an important factor when building a new four-lane highway. To mitigate settling and increase soil stability, ODOT and Kokosing are using a wick drain apparatus to quickly remove water 30 feet below ground. Throughout the project, ODOT will use more than 200,000 feet of wick drain.
Phase II of the Nelsonville Bypass includes more than three miles of highway earth work and 4.56 miles of four-lane paving. Phase II also consists of construction of the west interchange as well as the construction of four bridges.
Phase III Update
The larger of the two phases, Beaver Excavating has excavated more than 3.2 million cubic yards of dirt and embankment since October 2009.
A unique construction feature of Phase III includes mine grouting, in which Phase III requires an estimated 500,000 cubic yards of grout to fill old abandoned mine voids.
“At one time Nelsonville had a huge coal mining industry,” explained Daniel McDonald, ODOT Project Engineer. “However, there were minimal mining regulations in the early 1900’s and many of the mines were just abandoned. These old mine voids need to be filled to prevent any slippage along the highway.”
Phase III is most visible from existing US Route 33, where on the eastside of Nelsonville motorists can see construction of the twin bridges over Elm Rock Rd. As well, workers are finishing up paving on the new State Route 78 and installation of various wildlife culverts which are used to allow wildlife to safely travel from one side of the highway to the other.
Phase III will begin near Doanville and focus on constructing 3.87 miles of four-lane highway. Also included in Phase three is the construction of the US 33 / SR 78 / SR 691 interchange. The project will reroute SR 78 1.63 miles through the Happy Hollow Area to form the interchange.
Joined by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland officially kicked off construction on Ohio’s largest single investment of stimulus funds with the groundbreaking of Phase II and III of the U.S. Route 33 Nelsonville Bypass on October 13, 2009.
The Ohio Department of Transportation is investing up to $150 million in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for immediate construction of the final two phases of this new eight mile, four-lane highway, which is scheduled to be completed by July 2013. The Nelsonville Bypass is the final upgrade of the U.S. 33 corridor in southeast Ohio.