Construction on the Hobart Road/Carl Smith Drive project is nearing its end after years in the making and months of construction, and it is about nine months ahead of schedule, according to Highland County Engineer Dean Otworth.
A “key element” of the project, Kathleen Fuller with ODOT said in a press release, is a traffic light at the intersection of Hobart Road and U.S. Route 62 that is scheduled to be activated at 9 a.m. Monday.
The project was first brought to ODOT in January 2007 when Otworth approached the state agency with a vision to improve the area’s transportation network by extending the existing Hobart Road to SR 73.
Earlier this year, the John R. Jurgensen Company of Cincinnati was awarded the contract for the project for approximately $6.9 million. A groundbreaking for the project occurred in May.
The area has been bustling with activity in the months since as the Jurgensen Company turned the project plans into reality and now, Otworth said, “Pretty much everything is finished.”
He said raised pavement markers are yet to be installed, and there is likely more seeding and “maybe some erosion repair,” but to his knowledge the rest is done. And Monday see the traffic signal go live.
Fuller said that on Dec. 7, the newly-installed signal “will be set to stop-and-go operation.” At present, the signal is in flashing mode, she said, “as part of a burn test to test its operation and prepare motorists for the upcoming change.”
Fuller cautioned motorists to use additional caution through the intersection.
“As part of the total extension project, construction has included building a roundabout at the new roadway’s intersection with Careytown Road; adding turn lanes on SR 73 and U.S. 62; improving sections of Harry Sauner and Careytown roads; and installing a flashing light at SR 73 and the stop-and-go signal at U.S. 62,” the release states.
Otworth said a sidewalk project is in the planning stages now and the hope is for it to be completed by late summer 2016. The project will put a sidewalk from U.S. 62 to the roundabout, and then from there on Careytown Road toward Harry Sauner Road. He said that project likely won’t bid until closer to the spring.
“We’ve had a really good year overall … a busy year,” the engineer said, adding that in addition to the Hobart Road/Carl Smith Drive project the engineer’s office also saw to other projects that included numerous culvert replacements and five bridge projects.
Otworth said it took three things to make a project like the Hobart Road/Carl Smith Drive expansion work and that was “great engineering, a great contractor, and great inspections,” he said, “and I believe that is what we have had.”
And there has been a lot of other help, Otworth said, with property owners and through planning and construction, it’s all worked out.
“We’ve been very fortunate,” Otworth said. “In this situation, everything came together.”
Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.