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Multiple road projects on tap in Lawrence

Aug. 02, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

IRONTON -- Million of dollars worth of paving projects, a traffic signalization project with cameras in Ironton, and a sidewalk construction project in Chesapeake were discussed Thursday during a Lawrence County Board of Commissioners meeting in Ironton.

County Engineer Doug Cade said work started Monday on a program to chip and seal 33 miles of gravel roads in the county. The county spent $600,000 on the program last year, but will spend only $400,000 this year. The county has 100 miles of unpaved roads. With less funds available, only 33 miles of unpaved roads will be chipped and sealed instead of 50 miles. The change means unpaved roads will get attention every third year instead of every other year.

Cade is still waiting to hear from the Ohio Department of Transportation whether a $2.4 million paving project to pave County Road 1 and County Road 4 can be done this year.

Work is scheduled to start on a bridge replacement Monday along County Road 59 (Little Buffalo Road). The project should be completed by Wednesday, Aug. 10, weather permitting. A culvert replacement project is scheduled along County Road 69 (Indian Guyan Road) starting Aug. 12. The work could take a week, Cade said.

The county also has been able to get a $300,000 grant to put guardrail along County Road 12 and County Road 18, Cade said. The work is scheduled to start in October.

State officials haven't said whether a $1.3 million bridge replacement project along County Road 22 will be completed by the time school starts later this month, Cade said. The project along County Road 22 (Lawrence Street Road) started earlier this summer.

"The bridge is pretty much done," he said. "It's very close." There is still some paving, stone work and seeding to be done, Cade said.

A $1.4 million traffic signalization project in Ironton calls for new traffic lights to be installed along Park Avenue at 6th, 5th, 4th and 3rd Streets, at 3rd and Jefferson Street and at 3rd and Adams Street, according to Ironton Mayor Rich Blankenship. The work should be completed in the next few months, he said.

The new poles being installed also will have cameras that could allow the city to issue to tickets to motorists who run red lights at those intersections. No decision has been made, as yet, regarding whether the city will start issuing tickets, Blankenship said.

"We need to see what it can and can't do," he said. "If you don't run the red lights, you won't have to worry about it."

The board awarded a $76,929.28 streetscape project in Chesapeake to Fields Excavating of Kitts Hill. Chesapeake Mayor Dick Gilpin said the paving work could start later this month. The work is being done near Chesapeake Elementary School. The project calls for 2,323 feet of sidewalk to be installed.

In other action, the board heard a report from Treasurer Steve Burcham that his office has collected $10,009,918 in second half taxes, $233,439 more than last year. This year the treasurer's office collected $27,053,665 in tax revenues, up $885,914 from last year.

The board also approved the hiring of Jacqueline Moatz as an investigator in the Child Support Agency effective Aug. 19. She replaces someone who retired.

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