Beginning Sept. 7, Hobart Road in Hillsboro will be closed to traffic one way as crews continue to work well ahead of schedule on the Hobart Road/Carl Smith Drive project that will link U.S. Route 62 and SR 73.
The Ohio Department of Transportation said earlier this week that traffic would be restricted on Hobart Drive, which runs from U.S. Route 62 to Homestead Avenue, beginning Aug. 31. But Highland County Engineer Dean Otworth said Friday that the start date on the section of the project has been moved back to Sept. 7.
“The heavy rain we had last week kind of kicked things back and we don’t want to open the road until we have the flashing light and streets lights up and working on the roundabout,” Otworth said. “They’re coming along with it, but they hit some rock and things out there that made it a little harder than normal.”
Currently, traffic restrictions are in effect on Hobart Road for additional drainage and paving work. The existing road remains open to two-way traffic, and traffic is being maintained by flaggers. In addition, John R. Jurgensen Company crews are completing curb work on the new road, as well as paving operations on Harry Sauner Road, Careytown Road and SR 73 in preparation for restrictions that will be imparted soon on Hobart Road, according to ODOT Public Information Officer Kathleen Fuller.
On Monday, Sept. 7, Hobart Road will be restricted to one-way westbound traffic from U.S. 62, with Hobart Road closed to eastbound traffic while the contractors reconstruct and widen the segment of road between Homestead Avenue and U.S. 62. Hobart Road motorists wanting to travel east to access U.S. 62 will be detoured by way of Carl Smith Drive, Careytown Road and Harry Sauner Road, Fuller said.
Otworth said work on Hobart Road will start with widening the road to add two lanes and a curb. That work will close one lane. Once that’s down the one-way flow of traffic will be flipped and the other lane and curb will be added.
With the project being built in phases, operations have included the construction of a new road from the existing Hobart Road to SR 73, which is the Carl Smith Drive component; a roundabout at the new road’s intersection with Careytown Road; turn lanes on SR 73 and U.S. 62, with a flashing light at SR 73 and a stop-and-go signal at U.S. 62; and improvements to Harry Sauner and Careytown roads, according to Fuller.
She said that as the project progresses, lane restrictions will also be imparted on U.S. 62, whereby two-way traffic will be shifted onto existing and temporary pavement in two, 10-foot lanes. That temporary change, however, is not anticipated to be in effect until mid to late September.
Otworth said that while some landscaping and other detail work may not be complete, all roads in the project area are on schedule to be open to traffic by mid to late November.
“We’re hoping for late fall, and again that’s way ahead of the scheduled completion date of August 2016, and it’s dependent on the weather,” Otworth said. “That’s being very optimistic and we’re hopeful that will happen. That’s what the John R. Jurgensen Company wants to do and that’s what they’re aiming for.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.