Photo Caption: Costruction on the U.S. Rt. 33 bypass continues.
According to new information from the Ohio Department of Transportation, that completion date has changed to Nov. 26, 2012, over seven months earlier than the original date.
The project also has a phase three portion, which is taking place concurrently with the phase two construction. Phase three also had a completion date in July 2012, and while that date hasn't officially moved up as well, officials are hopeful it will.
Kokosing Construction Co., which was awarded phase two of the project with a $45.2 million contract, is working mostly on the northwest end of Nelsonville at this point, and is moving up to 40,000 cubic yards of dirt per day, according to ODOT. So far, crews have excavated 3.16 million cubic yards of earth of the 4.36 million to be moved on the job.
ODOT spokesperson Brenna Slavens said Tuesday that the project is going well.
She said work on the bridge over West Interchange Road is ongoing, with plans for crews to place concrete decks on the bridge in June.
After that work is done, crews will move on to the bridge being constructed over Ohio Rt. 78 and start placing decks on them.
"By the end of the month, we'll also begin on the bridge over Company Road," she said. "And that's where we'll be driving, piling and placing the substructure (of the roadway)."
ODOT has plans to begin paving on the completed portion of phase one and some of phase two sometime this summer, Slavens said.
"During the summer there will be subcontractors working on fence and reinforcement for the decks and other miscellaneous work," she said.
She added that ODOT is pleased that phase two will be completed almost a year ahead of what was originally planned.
'They're really working hard," she said. "They're doing a lot of different things. We just couldn't be more excited about that, to get that done."
So far, Slavens said, ODOT has expended over $22 million of the original contract. That means half of the money for the project has been paid out.
"By the end of this year, we should have at least four bridges completed with two more partially complete, and we'll have two remaining to build next year," she said. "We should have all of the earthwork completed and a good portion of the paving (done)."
Next summer, Slavens said, crews will work on completing paving work and tying the new roadway into the existing U.S. Rt. 33 toward Logan.
Phase three is larger than phase two and will take a little more time to complete, according to ODOT.
The contract for phase three was awarded to Beaver Excavating of Canton, Ohio, for $92.88 million. Phase three starts in Doanville and focuses on constructing 3.87 miles of four-lane highway, including the U.S. 33/ Ohio Rt. 78/ Ohio Rt. 691 interchange. According to ODOT, the project will reroute Ohio Rt.78 1.63 miles through the Happy Hollow area to form the interchange.
This interchange will create an exit that gives travelers access to Hocking College as well as the Inn at Hocking College.
One unique construction feature of phase three is the inclusion of mine grouting, where an estimated 500,000 cubic yards of grout is required to fill old abandoned mines.
"At one time Nelsonville had a huge coa- mining industry," explained Daniel McDonald, ODOT Project Engineer. "However, there were minimal mining regulations in the early 1900s and many of the mines were just abandoned. These old mine voids need to be filled to prevent any slippage along the highway."
Crews have been working year-round on the project, not stopping during the winter months.