News Release


District 10 • 338 Muskingum Drive • Marietta, Ohio 45750 •


 State Route 7 Project Update

MARIETTA (September 9, 2009) – Since beginning the second phase of the State Route 7 widening project this year, crews have applied the intermediate asphalt, installed new curbs, laid new pipe, and continued to transform State Route 7 into a safer, more efficient four- lane highway.

Extending from the greater Parkersburg / Belpre metro area to Marietta, Reno, and Newport, State Route 7 serves as the primary highway for this southeastern corridor. Over the past four decades this corridor has experienced dramatic commercial and residential growth which has increased traffic capacity on State Route 7. The added traffic has substantiated the need to improve safety, access, congestion and overall deficiencies of State Route 7.

With the traffic and safety study from 2002, local leaders, businesses and residents worked together in record time to move the project forward into the planning stages. Funding from former Congressman, now Governor Ted Strickland, the Transportation Review Advisory Council (TRAC), and the Wood, Wert, Washington Metropolitan Planning Organization moved the project from planning to production. Finally, in September 2007, the $14.6 million project was awarded to Shelly and Sands and construction began April 2008.

"This project was made possible by the support of numerous local businesses, residents and government agencies," explained Debbie Fought, District 10 Planning Administrator. "Everyone involved saw the need and benefit of the project."


The project was originally scheduled for completion October 31, 2009, but due to unforeseen utility issues and weather related delays, the project has been extended until early next spring.

"Weather permitting, the goal is to apply the surface course from Starlite Drive to Sandhill Road and have that section opened to four-lanes by November," said Zach Bazell, Project Engineer. "Crews will then continue to widen from Sandhill Road to Dimex and complete that section by early next spring."


The section of State Route 7 from Wal-Mart to Dimex currently carries over 30,000 vehicles per day. Future economic development along the State Route 7 corridor through Marietta and Reno could potentially increase traffic to over 43,000 vehicles per day.

"State Route 7 is becoming more urbanized and this project is designed to accommodate future development and traffic," stated Larry Woodford, District Deputy Director. "This project supports District 10’s mission to improve the safety of Appalachia’s infrastructure and provide the opportunity for future economic development."

Additionally, future projects along State Route 7, such as the Pike Street Corridor Project, will not only improve safety but also support potential traffic increase.

For more information on the State Route 7 widening project featuring video of ODOT Project Engineer, Zach Bazell, visit ODOT’s Official Project website at