The Ohio Department of Transportation has thrown a lot of money at Jefferson County this year.
Construction projects have totaled about $70 million. About half of money is just to correct the falling hillside on state Route 7 at Rush Run.
ODOT this week also broke ground on a new $7.4 million garage on 11 acres of ground off county Road 43, near the Jefferson County Industrial Park.
The current garage off Cadiz Road was built in 1955. Needless to say, ODOT has outgrown the facility with the larger trucks and equipment of today compared to almost five decades ago.
Trucks and equipment at the current garage have to be parked outside in the weather, which can shorten their lives.
A new truck can cost well in excess of $100,000.
ODOT plans to replace trucks after so many years, depending on the amount of snowfall in a region.
The new garage will allow the trucks and equipment to be parked inside. Drivers also will be able to wash the trucks inside in a temperature-controlled environment.
The neighborhood around the current garage developed around it over the years. A snow event results in trucks coming and going 24 hours a day in the residential area.
The new garage is more out of the way and allows easier access to state Route 43 and U.S. Route 22.
There are 12 snow routes in the county, with drivers completing a circuit of 40 miles plowing and spreading salt.
The building will contain separate salt and aggregate and salt mixing buildings and buildings for storing equipment and trucks, plus a main garage building with offices. The contractor, LW Associates of Ashville, is expected to complete the structure by September.
County Road 43 is being developed with the ever-increasing industrial park. The ODOT garage is another welcome addition.
It is good to see the amount of road construction that occurred and is currently ongoing in the county, even if the orange barrels and lane restrictions have created an inconvenience to drivers.
The road improvements have put area construction crews to work and pumped money into the local economy.