State Route 7 blasting schedule changed to minimize rush hour traffic delays
New Philadelphia, Ohio (Thursday, June 16, 2016) – ODOT has changed the blasting schedule for the hillside repair project along State Route 7 near Rush Run in Jefferson County to minimize rush hour traffic delays.
ODOT District 11 Deputy Director Lloyd MacAdam said, “We understand the public’s frustrations associated with this ongoing blasting work, so we’ve instructed our contractor to change the schedule of the shots on this project before or after the evening rush hour traffic.”
Shots were originally scheduled around 5 PM to maximize the amount of production on the project; however, ODOT understands the major inconvenience it has caused daily commuters. Recent traffic delays were longer due to large rocks hanging on the edge of the hillside above SR 7 after blasting. Immediately following each blast, project staff must evaluate the area for safety before reopening SR 7 to traffic, including any hanging rocks that could pose a hazard. Traffic cannot resume travel until all those issues are resolved.
“Our goal is to maximize safety and minimize the public’s inconvenience. We’ve been working to restore safety and remediate the landslide and rockfall hazards along SR 7 between Rush Run and Brilliant for a long time,” said MacAdam.
The first landslide occurred, restricting traffic along SR 7 in March 2011. Altogether, over $68 million has been invested into repairing this hillside and improving the long-term safety for motorists along this five-mile stretch of SR 7.
MacAdam said, “We hope this new schedule results in much fewer delays for motorists during peak travel times.”
Today’s blast will occur around 3 p.m. Then, no blasting is expected for the next two weeks at this site.
ODOT’s contractor for this $16 million slope repair project is Kokosing Construction Company Inc., from Columbus, Ohio, and the completion date is late this fall. The project is approximately ½ mile in length and includes excavation and benching the failed rock face and wooded slopes above SR 7, pavement rehabilitation, and construction of a permanent rock catchment area.
The Ohio Department of Transportation maintains the state's largest man-made asset – the transportation system. ODOT's mission is to provide the safe and easy movement of people and goods from place to place. As a $2.8 billion per year enterprise, ODOT invests the bulk of its resources in system preservation through maintenance, construction and snow and ice operations.
The environmental review, consultation, and other actions required by applicable Federal environmental laws for this project are being, or have been, carried out by ODOT pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327 and a Memorandum of Understanding dated December 11, 2015, and executed by FHWA and ODOT.
For more information contact:
Becky Giauque \Jee-awg\, Public Information Officer, at (330) 308-3949
or email Becky.Giauque@dot.ohio.gov