Construction season underway

CHAD PLAUCHE-ADKINS The Marietta Times Contractors from Larry Lang Excavating LLC begin the replacement of a sewer pipe on Second Street on Thursday.

As the temperatures start to rise, road crews and engineers will be hitting the streets to ensure all the public facilities and roads are repaired after a long winter of abuse.

Roger Wright, Washington County engineer, said in the upcoming road construction season his department will be tackling the problem that has been plaguing county residents over the last year: road slips.

Wright said his department is finally starting to get FEMA funding in order to repair the 160 slips on roads for which the county is responsible.

“We have 20 to 30 completed so far,” he said.

Wright said his department has received between 60 and 70 percent of the total funding for the road slip repairs from FEMA. With only $765,000 approved funding as of March 1 from FEMA for the slips, the county’s influx of federal dollars has increased exponentially since then.

“We have about $5 million to $5.5 million approved,” he said.

Wright said the total cost of repairing all the slips in the county this summer will be close to $7.5 million.

Road slips are also dominating the summer plans of the Ohio Department of Transportation. Ashley Rittenhouse, public information officer for ODOT, said in an email that Gov. Mike DeWine declared a state of emergency for 37 counties in March due to the slips. She said all nine counties in ODOT’s District 10, which includes Washington County, were included in the declaration. That allows FEMA money to be used for repair of the roads.

Rittenhouse said the largest slip ODOT will be repairing is on Ohio 376 in Morgan County. The road is currently closed due to the damage.

“This landslide spans more than a dozen acres and since its closure the road has rapidly deteriorated,” she said.

Rittenhouse said that earth and boulders are still moving on the hill above the road, making it unsafe to travel for either motorized traffic or pedestrians.

She said a total of seven slips in Washington County on Ohio 26, Ohio 550, Ohio 260 and Ohio 555 will also be repaired by the state this summer.

Michael Miser, assistant superintendent of Marietta’s Wastewater Treatment Plant, said his department is beginning repairs on sewer lines in Harmar Village and on Second and Post streets.

“The flood a couple years ago did a lot of damage to our sewer lines,” he said.

But instead of digging up the ground to replace the old clay pipes, he said a technology that was available since the mid-1980s has become affordable enough for the city to use on a large scale project. Miser said an epoxy solution is shot into the pipes that line the walls and gives structural integrity to them. He said this method is much more cost effective then trying to replace pipes in more densely populated areas.

“You have to deal with electric lines and water lines,” he said of digging near residences to replace pipes.

Miser said he hoped to have the Harmar project completed by the end of summer, but a common hurdle for most government projects may keep him from reaching his goal.

“We are currently looking for funding,” he said.

Joe Tucker, Marietta’s city engineer, said that funding will come from a 30-year loan from the Ohio Water Development Authority to cover the approximate $470,000 price tag. Tucker said he believes it is a great investment for the community.

“This should give us 50 more years of service on lines that were put in during the 1950s,” he said.

Tucker also said a 14-year long project wastewater treatment plant project will see its completion by the end of the summer. Tucker said the approximate $6 million project replaces old clarifier tanks and ultra-violet light treatment systems. He said the project also will put in a new out fall into the Ohio River for treated water and a pump station.

Tucker also said the city plans on extending the River Trail another 0.8 miles from its end on Jefferson Street. He said the fifth phase of he project will continue the path to the confluence of Duck Creek and the Ohio River, then travel up the creek near the I-77 on ramp. He said a foot bridge will be installed near the Comfort Inn to cross the creek sometime in late June. The $2 million portion of the trail will end at the Walmart parking lot. Tucker said the city hopes the new portion of the trail will be open to the public by early fall.

The city also plans to pave sections of six roads in Marietta. They are Fourth Street from Washington Street to Putnam Street, Seventh Street from Wooster Street to Washington Street, Washington Street from Cisler Drive to Ninth Street, Cisler Drive from Washington Street to Ray Street, Eighth Street from the River Trail to Jefferson Street and Lancaster Street from Douglas Avenue to Alta Street.

Construction season at a glance

•Fixing road slips will be the biggest construction jobs for both the county and state this summer.

•More than $5 million of the required $7.5 million needed to fix all of the county’s 160 slips has been approved.

•ODOT’s biggest slip is a 12-acre behemoth on Ohio 376 in Morgan County.

•The city will be lining the interior of sewer pipes in Harmar Village and finish renovations at the city’s Wastewater Treatment Plant.

•The city will also extend the River Trail another 0.8 miles to its new end at the Walmart parking lot.

•The city also plans to pave sections of six roads in Marietta. They are Fourth Street from Washington Street to Putnam Street, Seventh Street from Wooster Street to Washington Street, Washington Street from Cisler Drive to Ninth Street, Cisler Drive from Washington Street to Ray Street, Eighth Street from the River Trail to Jefferson Street and Lancaster Street from Douglas Avenue to Alta Street.

Source: Times research.

Construction season at a glance

•Fixing road slips will be the biggest construction jobs for both the county and state this summer.

•More than $5 million of the required $7.5 million needed to fix all of the county’s 160 slips has been approved.

•ODOT’s biggest slip is a 12-acre behemoth on Ohio 376 in Morgan County.

•The city will be lining the interior of sewer pipes in Harmar Village and finish renovations at the city’s Wastewater Treatment Plant.

•The city will also extend the River Trail another 0.8 miles to its new end at the Walmart parking lot.

•The city also plans to pave sections of six roads in Marietta. They are Fourth Street from Washington Street to Putnam Street, Seventh Street from Wooster Street to Washington Street, Washington Street from Cisler Drive to Ninth Street, Cisler Drive from Washington Street to Ray Street, Eighth Street from the River Trail to Jefferson Street and Lancaster Street from Douglas Avenue to Alta Street.

Source: Times research.

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