Portsmouth Bypass to Open on Friday 12/14

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Valenth
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Portsmouth Bypass to Open on Friday 12/14

Post by Valenth » Thu Dec 13, 2018 6:05 pm

Per: The Daily Independent

PORTSMOUTH Transportation officials, developers, highway workers and community officials on Thursday ceremonially marked the opening of a highway that bypasses Portsmouth and improves traffic flow on the U.S. 23 corridor through the Tri-State region.

The Southern Ohio Veterans Memorial Highway, which opens to traffic Friday, sweeps around Portsmouth to the east, from Lucasville to Sciotoville, cutting between 15 minutes to half an hour of travel time.

It connects U.S. 23 north of Portsmouth with U.S. 52 east of the city. From its southern terminus it is an approximately 10-mile drive to the Jesse Stuart Bridge and either U.S. 23 or the AA Highway in Kentucky.

The 16-mile, four-lane limited-access highway is one of the largest ever Ohio Department of Transportation highway projects to date, and was completed in about three years under a public-private partnership agreement that brought private financing with it.

Cost of the highway was about $634 million.

Completing the bypass in that amount of time would not have been possible otherwise, Ohio Director of Transportation Jerry Wray said. “There wouldn’t be enough money for us to set aside on our own, so we had to get innovative financing so we looked to the private sector,” he said. “Without the public-private partnership, it probably wouldn’t have happened for another 50 years.”

The highway, numerically designated OH 823, completes the Appalachian Highway System in Ohio. The system is a series of corridors intended to improve economic development and stretches from New York to Mississippi.

The highway required moving more than 20 million cubic yards of earth and rock and construction of 22 bridges, according to ODOT. Among the bridges is a 124-foot-tall span over the Little Scioto River.

Completion means convenience and shorter travel times for public and commercial traffic on U.S. 23 between Ohio and Kentucky, and that is a good thing for economic development in Kentucky, according to Ashland Alliance President Tim Gibbs. “It’s one of the major corridors for our region, and transportation logistics is always a huge part of what we have to offer people,” Gibbs said.

The highway is an important link in the Appalachian system, Wray said, “Until a corridor is complete, you don’t get the full benefit in reduction of congestion and economic development,” he said.

Following a ceremony, officials and others took a procession of highway department vehicles, classic automobiles and motorcycles down the highway.



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Valenth
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Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 10:13 am
Location: Ohio

Re: Portsmouth Bypass to Open on Friday 12/14

Post by Valenth » Thu Dec 13, 2018 6:08 pm

I heard it opens at 8:30AM...



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