Over the last year, crews have been working on constructing the Southern Ohio Veterans Memorial Highway in Scioto County. According to officials with the project, crews have the $429 million project nearly halfway complete.
In its first Public, Private, Partnership (P3), the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) hired Portsmouth Gateway Group (PGG) to construct the Southern Ohio Veterans Memorial Highway. The year 2015 saw the first ground broken on the project, bringing decades of planning to reality. Since the ground breaking, crews and contractors have been working on the project, with a targeted completion date of December 2018.
According Kathleen Fuller, ODOT District 9 Spokeswoman, the project is roughly 45% complete and is ahead of schedule. She attributes the dry mild winter to helping contractors get work done.
Once constructed, the roadway will have 72 lane-miles. There will be five major interchanges with two partial interchanges, and the roadway is anticipated to have an average daily traffic of up to 14,500 vehicles.
In making room for the highway, some blasting work will need to be done. There will be 400 semi-truck loads of explosives used, 260 miles of holes drilled for blasting.
The project is a 16-mile, limited access, four-lane highway that will bypass about 26 miles of U.S. 52 and U.S. 23 in Portsmouth. Once completed, ODOT estimates it will reduce travel time by 16 minutes compared to the alternative routes in the area.
In total the project will cost $1.2 billion, with $429 million in construction costs.