BELPRE - In a final project to better serve the residents and businesses in the growing west end of Belpre, construction will soon begin to widen Farson Street.
Mayor Mike Lorentz said Shelly and Sands Construction, which has been hired by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to do the work, is expected to put construction signs along the roadway this week with construction set to begin in about two weeks.
"This is the final project of the work that started about four years ago to better serve that end of town," Lorentz said. "It is great to see it almost completed."
Beginning in the next two weeks, Farson Street will be partially closed as turning lanes are built for easier access to businesses in the area, including Marietta Memorial Hospital's Health Bridge Medical Park.
In a two-phase process, the first phase will close the southbound lane headed toward the hospital while traffic coming from Washington Boulevard will be able to go through to U.S. 50.
The second phase will close the northbound lane in the same fashion, with traffic headed from U.S. 50 to Washington Boulevard able to go through.
The entire project will take about 1,100 feet of Farson Street and widen it to create turn lanes to allow better traffic flow and access to businesses in that area, which include the ever-expanding MMH campus.
Farson Street will be widened from the intersection with U.S. 50 and will taper back to two lanes near Rockland Avenue, Lorentz said.
"It will be a bit of a shock for those who travel through that area on a regular basis as the construction will bung traffic up," he said. "But it will be worth it when work is completed."
Lorentz said the project is the final road construction expected for this area of the city.
"Last year we were able to get the left turn lanes on U.S. 50 lengthened at Farson Street and Braun Road with new traffic lights and this year we have the work on Farson Street," he said. "This is the last of the road work we expect to accommodate that end of town, that I know of."
The city has moved utilities and plans to do more to the water and sewer lines to better serve the residents and businesses there.
"We need to add some pumps to keep water pressure up and things like that," Lorentz said. "We are working on making sure the west end of town is able to comfortably and easily accommodate the growth expected."
The construction on this project is funded through federal grants, the Ohio Public Works and about $110,000 from the city.
The completion date for the project, weather permitting, is Oct. 1.