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Ohio 7 blasting work to cause traffic delays

Public meeting provides info on scheduled work

The Ohio Department of Transportation will be working this year on the section of Ohio 7 between Moore’s Junction and Ohio 550 between Belpre and Marietta. Part of the project beginning next week will be blasting operations to mitigate a rockfall hazard. (Photo by Wayne Towner)

BELPRE — Beginning some time next week. a daily traffic delay of approximately 30 minutes can be anticipated by motorists traveling between Belpre and Marietta on Ohio 7 due to blasting work.

The Ohio Department of Transportation held a public meeting Tuesday at Belpre Christian Academy to discuss the upcoming project on Ohio 7 between Belpre and Marietta.

About a dozen people attended the meeting which lasted 25 minutes. Only two questions were raised, one regarding what types of signaling would occur during the blasting operation and the other about any restrictions on radio equipment use during that time.

Since several businesses have operations in that area, those attending were told whistles and air horns would be used in the area of the blasting to indicate when it was to occur. Based on the equipment and materials being used for the blast operations, there were no restrictions on radio use, they were told.

The project will be taking place between Moore’s Junction and Ohio 550 and will entail replacing the concrete barrier wall and guardrail, resurfacing the roadway and improving drainage, said Scott Stritz, project engineer with ODOT.

Scott Stritz, a project manager with the Ohio Department of Transportation, outlines the plans for road work on Ohio 7 between Moore’s Junction and Ohio 550 beginning next week. (Photo by Wayne Towner)

The 2.73-mile project will cost about $6.2 million to complete.

The purpose of Tuesday’s meeting was to provide information and answer any questions regarding blasting operations beginning next week for the purpose of repairing a rockfall hazard in the work zone, said Stritz. The blasting work was originally scheduled to begin next Monday but may be pushed back to later next week.

The blasting operations will require that the northbound and southbound lanes of Ohio 7 be closed from 1:30-2 p.m. each day that blasting occurs. The closure will occur between Hanna Road (Township 464) and Bender Road (Township 279).

The time period covers the blasting itself, pre- and post-inspections of the blasting site and possible road clearing sweeps, although the cleanup phase is not expected to be extensive or even necessary due to the controlled nature of the blasting, officials said.

Stritz said current plans call for the blasting to run about 30-35 days, with blasts occurring daily Monday through Friday unless weather and other factors require the suspension of the blasting operations for a specific day. Those decisions will be made on a daily basis.

If the blasting work goes as scheduled, Stritz said that phase of the project is expected to be completed by early April. At that time, the road closures will no longer be required and normal lane closures associated with road construction and resurfacing will continue until the project is completed, which is currently scheduled for early October.

More information is available at transportation.ohio.gov.

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