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Ohio DOT puts federal stimulus funds to work preventing, detecting slides that damage roads

Ohio DOT puts federal stimulus funds to work preventing, detecting slides that damage roads
Among the projects the Ohio Department of Transportation plans to fund using federal stimulus monies is a $3.3 million project to protect a section of U.S. 33 in Athens County. (Courtesy: Ohio Department of Transportation)

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) announced June 11 it will use $35 million in federal stimulus funding to complete dozens of projects aimed at the prevention and detection of landslides and rockslides, which are a common issue in the eastern and southern regions of the state.

When they occur, landslide and rockslide repairs can be very costly. In many cases, the repairs can take several months to complete. With few convenient detours available, getting around closed roads can often add a lot of time and distance to travel.

“ODOT is looking to prevent both landslides and rockslides from happening to avoid significant damage to our roadways,” said Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine. “The use of these funds will help to keep our roadways safe for travelers in areas prone to landslides and rockslides.”

ODOT has identified nearly 40 locations in more than a dozen counties where slides and rockfalls are likely to occur in the near future. Among them is U.S. 33 southeast of Athens. A $3.3 million project will protect a section of the highway used by nearly 9,500 vehicles every day.

“Our highly skilled geotechnical engineers comb the state each day looking for potential hazards and their hard work on this effort is paying off — literally. Investing a little today on these projects will help avoid having to spend a lot tomorrow,” said Jack Marchbanks, ODOT director.

The funding for these projects is part of the $333.4 million Ohio received from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.

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