Updated Tue, Aug 20, 2013 8:00 am
The final section of the Nelsonville bypass will open Oct. 1, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation.
ODOT spokesman David Rose said a public ceremony is being planned for that day, and that portion of the bypass will be opened to traffic after the event. He said a guest list is still being developed.
“We’re going to be reaching out to people,” Rose said, inviting people who have been significant in development of the project.
The state’s contract with Beaver Excavating called for the remaining portion of the bypass to be completed by the end of October, Rose has said previously. Earlier this year it had been hoped the opening could take place at the end of July or early August, but bad weather and the need to re-compact parts of the base resulted in the opening being pushed back.
The western part of the bypass opened last fall.
Setting of the date for opening the final section of the Route 33 bypass has allowed fundraising groups to schedule an event they had been planning to hold on the unopened highway.
The Nelsonville US33 Bypass Opening Run/Walk/Bike will be held Sept 28.
Presented by Doctors Hospital Nelsonville, the event is a fundraiser for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Athens County, Nelsonville-York Athletic Boosters and Nelsonville Main Street.
There will be a 5K run/walk or people can ride bicycles on the closed portion of the bypass.
The cost is $30 for either the run/walk or bicycling, or $50 for both, if registration is received by Sept. 16. Those who preregister are guaranteed a commemorative T-shirt. Those who register after that will pay $40 for either event or $50 for both, and will not be guaranteed a shirt. Children age 14 and younger can participate for free, with T-shirts costing $7.
The 5K walk/run will start at 9 a.m., with registration between 7:30 and 8:45 a.m. Participants will be bused from the Nelsonville Public Square to the closed bypass. The event will be timed, and awards will be presented to the overall male and female finishers and in multiple age categories.
The bike ride begins at 10:30 a.m. at the Public Square, with registration opening at 7:30 a.m. Bikers will be able to ride up to 12 miles on the closed bypass during the non-timed event, and the course will be open for two hours.
Only people wearing a numbered bib from the event will be allowed on the unopened bypass. No motorized vehicles will be permitted on the closed portion of the bypass.
Registration is open at www.nelsonvillebypassopening.com, where there also is a course map for bikers. Registration forms will be available at all Athens County libraries beginning Sept. 1.
Registration and early packet pick-up for pre-registered participants will be available at Final Fridays on Sept. 27.