Thursday, October 8, 2009

SR 682 Construction Causes Stress

by Pat Henderson

The resurfacing and widening of SR 682 is causing stress to Plains' residents - both mental and financial - since construction began in last spring. Residents who commute through The Plains complain about traffic and local businesses notice a difference in the number of customers who come through the door.

Business Owners Speak Out
"It has not been very conducive to our business," says Joann Wolfe, the general manager of the Valero gas station on 682, "because it's just the traffic patterns and people having to wait and they're not happy about it so we've definitely lost some business."

Wolfe says she thinks the construction has really affected her business. She says people stop in less and the construction equipment is blocking the entrance to her store.

Joann Wolfe, General Manager of Valero talks about SR682 construction

On the other hand, William Johnson says he doesn't think the construction has affected his upholstery business at all. He says it is the economy that is doing him in. He has had to downsize and split his shop into two, renting the front out to an antique store to survive the hard times. He says his business has actually done pretty well in the second half of 2009, since the construction began. "We're just a few hundred dollars short of doing what we did the first six months of the year. So we're really ahead of the first part of the year."

William Johnson, Owner of Johnson's Upholstery thinks it's the economy hurting business

ODOT Responds
Ohio Department of Transportation representative David Rose said in an interview that there isn't much ODOT can do. "The biggest thing we always try to do is make sure proper access is provided. Unfortunately, as human nature, no one likes traffic. If someone doesn't want to be inconvenienced then there's not much ODOT can do."

When, Why and How Much?
Construction takes place from 7:00a.m. to 7:00p.m. - some night work may be required but only non-power operated equipment may be used.

The Ohio Department of Transportation says this will be better for residents and businesses in The Plains in the long run. Their website states: "State Route 682 provides a link from US 33 north of Athens to the west side of Athens, making it a cut-through route. Existing traffic levels through The Plains have outgrown the two-lane highway making it a safety priority."

The project was commissioned in March of 2009 and is estimated to cost a little over $3 million. The construction is being done by the Shelly and Sands construction company.

Project Overview:
The project includes widening and resurfacing 1.25 miles of roadway on SR 682 through The Plains to construct a two-way left turn lane. There will be some realignment of roads attached to the state route and existing storm sewers are being reconstructed.

When Will It End?
The project is expected to be finished in September of 2010, but ODOT representative Rose says it may be finished earlier if construction remains on schedule.

Video montage of construction along SR 682


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