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Emergency stabilization project nears completion

With the last of the rock coming down this weekend, construction for an emergency repair project on State Route 7 in Lawrence County is nearing completion, and the route may be open to traffic by late Monday.

Under an emergency contract, contractors for the Ohio Department of Transportation have removed boulders and rock from the hillside and ledge along S.R. 7 after a landslide near the 1.0-mile marker of the route’s westbound lanes forced its closure last month.

S.R. 7 West has been closed between its junction with U.S. 52 at the 17th Street/Nick Rahall Bridge and S.R. 527 at the 6th Street/Robert C. Byrd Bridge since July 21 after a massive boulder gave way from the hillside and fell onto the westbound lanes of S.R. 7 near County Road 124 (Tallow Ridge Road) at Chesapeake.

ODOT expedited the stabilization and bench clearing project following field reviews which determined that two substantial boulders and additional rock on the hillside were unstable and likely to fall.

Crews from the Alan Stone Co. and their sub-contractors, AIS Construction, have worked since early last week to remove the boulders, and the last of the rock came down late Saturday.

The contractors will now continue clearing the rock and debris from the highway, and it is anticipated that this work will be completed by this afternoon. However, the westbound lanes of S.R. 7 will remain closed until the pavement has been cleared and any repairs to the highway have been made.

Until S.R. 7 West is reopened to traffic, motorists will continue to be detoured through the village of Chesapeake via Third Avenue and C.R. 1 (old U.S. 52) to C.R. 144 (Charley Creek Road) and U.S. 52.