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Traffic signal fiber optic work begins

Photos by Janelle Patterson Vince Gage, right, and Chuck Gelvin, work on the Marietta fiber optic upgrade project on the Putnam Bridge Tuesday.

The Marietta traffic signal fiber optic project is underway this week along Putnam Street, Putnam Bridge and Putnam Avenue.

City Public Works Director Jim Wark Monday said the project upgrades old wiring between some of the city’s traffic signals, a project that has been in planning stages for several years and as recently as last year induced the signal removal studies for multiple intersections in the city which ultimately saw no support from Marietta City Council’s Streets Committee when recommendations were made for removal by the traffic engineering firm contracted to perform the study.

But Tuesday, work on the bridge also hit a river town snag.

“There was so much dirt from mud in here,” said electric contractor Chuck Gelvin, as he resealed a box with concrete mix by hand within the belly of the walkway on the southern side of the bridge.

Wark described the curved bridge’s construction as multi-layered to allow for maintenance below the top road and walkway, as Gelvin and Vince Gage worked to add pebbles into the gaps around the buried box.

“We’ve got a bigger box, because we need to put in slack insulation in case they would ever need to come out and splice this line,” Gelvin said, noting redundancy is also built into the tubes emerging for additional wiring or cables as needed.

The $285,485.20 project, while a city-specific design for the installation of new traffic signals and fiber optic cable interconnect system along federal-aid routes within the City of Marietta is a transportation activity eligible to receive federal funding and therefore is a project administered by the Ohio Department of Transportation.

ODOT has committed to covering 80 percent of that cost, with the remainder eligible for coverage by Federal Congestion, Mitigation and Air Quality funding.

Streets impacted include intersections along Putnam, Front, Third (a compilation of state routes) Seventh, Greene and Pike (which also overlap with state routes) and Acme Street, a connecting street between two state routes.

Jerry McCabe, ODOT project inspector also appeared on site Tuesday.

“I’m basically here to check in and make sure the job is done to (specifications) are done right,” he explained.

According to ODOT, periodic short-term daily lane closures will be in place. Throughout the project with an estimated completion date of June 30, weather dependent.

Janelle Patterson may be reached at jpatterson@mariettatimes.com.

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