Construction Season Underway in Athens

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The summer season is upon us and that means construction projects are underway. From construction right on Ohio University’s campus like demolition of Smith Hall to a repaving project on East State Street across town, it is a busy time for the construction crews.

Construction around town also means changes to traffic patterns and travel delays. The construction of the Richland Ave Bridge has traffic reduced to one lane and controlled by a temporary traffic light.

The bridge was originally constructed in 1935 and is a two-span reinforced concrete slab and it is currently rated at only 65% of Ohio Legal Loads. The bridge is supposed to be able to hold a load of 27 tons, but can only handle an estimated load of around 18 tons. The first half of the project will be completed late June 2019 and the entire project wrapping up late August 2019 according to the City of Athens Engineering and Public Works Office.

Shorter projects around the area include the much needed repaving of East State Street between Homes Street and Strathmore Boulevard. This project will include milling of existing asphalt, installation of fiber reinforcing, paving, and installation of permanent pavement marking.

Amanda Day, manager of the Baymont Inn and Suites located on Homes Street, said she have received a number of guest complaints who are frustrated with the project.

“Why didn’t [local businesses] put this on their websites? Why didn’t [businesses] let people know that there was going to be construction?” are common complaints Day says she receives. But Day says the work needs to be done.

“[East State Street] needed a lot of work,” she said. “It was like a washboard for several blocks.”

This project is currently underway and is scheduled to be completed on May 30, 2019.