For informational/historical purposes only.

The Ohio Department of Transportation & The Office of Governor Bob Taft
April 3,  2002


$9 Million project to help improve safety in Jackson County

WELLSTON (April 3, 2002) Governor Bob Taft joined representatives from the Ohio Department of Transportation, elected officials, and members of the community today to mark the beginning of the construction of an interchange at state routes 32 and 327 in Jackson County.

"Developing corridors such as State Route 32 has been the backbone of our comprehensive approach to improving conditions throughout southeastern Ohio," said Taft. "The new interchange will help improve safety and economic development opportunities in the area."

The construction of the Wellston Interchange became necessary to address growing traffic volumes and the high number of accidents which were occurring at the intersection of state routes 32 and 327. In the last decade, traffic volumes at this intersection have nearly doubled. With residential and commercial development on the rise, it is expected the region will continue to experience significant increases in traffic volumes.

"This project is an important step in improving the quality of life for those who live and work in the Appalachian region, said Cash Misel, ODOTs assistant director of planning.

The nearly $9.2 million project will consist of the construction of a full interchange at the intersection of state routes 32 and 327, diverting State Route 327 traffic under State Route 32 and eliminating the at-grade intersection. The project, which is expected to be completed in the summer of 2004, will also include the reconstruction of State Route 124/County Road 78 (Fairgreens Road) at the intersection of State Route 32, diverting County Road 78 to pass over State Route 32 and eliminating this at-grade intersection.

Senator Mike DeWine secured funding from the Federal Highway Safety Infrastructure program to help with the construction of the new interchange. Additional project funding is being provided through the Ohio Department of Transportations Highway Safety Program (HSP).

The HSP systematically prioritizes safety projects in a process similar to the one used to prioritize ODOTs major new construction projects. Through the HSP, an analysis of hazardous locations is conducted using accident information, roadway geometrics, and traffic volume data to determine high accident areas, as well as which locations would most likely benefit from safety improvements.