For informational/historical purposes only.

The Ohio Department of Transportation & The Office of Governor Bob Taft
May 31, 2002


First Phase of $150 Million Project to Help Ease Congestion in Lawrence County

CHILLICOTHE (May 31, 2002) Governor Bob Taft today participated in a ground-breaking ceremony to mark the beginning of construction on the Chesapeake Bypass in Lawrence County. The $6.6 million project is the first phase of a $150 million project to help ease congestion and spur economic development in the region.

Joining Taft were Congressman Ted Strickland, Senator Mike Shoemaker and Representative John Carey. Representatives from the Ohio Department of Transportation, local businesses, and members of the community also participated in the event.

"Projects such as the Chesapeake Bypass are key to enhancing the quality of life for area residents, by improving traffic flow, safety and accessibility throughout the region," Taft said. "This new bypass will also be a catalyst for economic development in the area, which will bring new jobs and business opportunities to southern Ohio."

There are currently more than 21,000 vehicles using State Route 7 through Proctorville every day. The route was originally designed to accommodate 12,000 vehicles per day. Additionally, the crash rate along much of the existing SR 7 corridor in the area is nearly 30 percent higher than the statewide average on similar routes.

The project includes the relocation of SR 7 through Proctorville and construction of two lanes of the proposed four-lane highway from the 31st Street/East Huntington Bridge at State Route 607, just west of Proctorville, to State Route 775 and Irene Road.

"The Chesapeake Bypass and other similar projects have been the focus of our comprehensive approach to improve traffic conditions throughout Ohio," said ODOT Director Gordon Proctor.

Upon completion of this first segment of the project in late October 2002, the department will begin construction of Phase 1B, which will extend SR 7 from Irene Road to just beyond Fairland East Elementary. This portion of the project is scheduled to sell in the spring 2003, and will take up to two construction seasons to complete. The remainder of the bypass project, phases two and three, are currently in the planning process.

There should be little impact to traffic during the projects construction, with the exception of connecting work at both ends of the project site.

The Chesapeake Bypass is part of ODOTs continued effort to complete "macro-corridors" across the state, providing an opportunity for all of Ohio to contribute to the states economic competitive.