ODOT Gives Update on Road Projects on Ohio 7 in Jefferson County
The Brooke-Hancock-Jefferson Metropolitan Planning Commission this week received updates on several road projects, including removal of a boulder that fell onto Ohio 7 near Rush Run in August.
Scott Warner, the Ohio Department of Transportation’s new liaison to the commission, said officials are seeking a contractor to ensure the adjacent hillside where the rock fell is stable before attempting to remove it.
The boulder, about 50-60 feet high and 125 feet wide, must be broken up to be removed, Warner said, noting explosives aren’t seen as a viable option because it could affect the hill behind it.
Crews had excavated the hillside above a 5-mile section of the highway in an effort to prevent rock slides when the rock fell 25 to 30 feet from the hill.
Warner said crews continue to excavate along Ohio 7 north of Brilliant and have begun installing drainage structures in that area. The work is scheduled to be completed later this month, with all lanes expected to be reopened in the spring.
Warner’s written report noted crews continue to build a retaining wall along the embankment by Ohio 7 where two new turning lanes will be built from the west side of the highway to the Veterans Memorial Bridge in Steubenville.
The 900-foot lanes will replace the current, shorter turning lane that has been closed since the work began. A new access road to the Steubenville Marina is part of the project.
State highway officials said the wall and additional support for the railroad bridge that extends over the highway were added to address concerns from the Norfolk-Southern Railroad.