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Morgan County roadway reopens after massive landslide

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Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 4:26 PM EDT
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McCONNELSVILLE, Ohio (WTAP) - More than a year after a massive landslide forced the closure of State Route 376, the road has been reopened. A 900-foot section of the hillside above SR 376 began to move in February 2019, forcing the Ohio Department of Transportation to close the roadway and begin emergency repairs.

"This is the main route to Morgan County Middle and High School, a nursing home, and several county offices, so we knew we had to work as quickly as we could to safely reopen the roadway," said ODOT District 10 Deputy Director Darla Miller. "We appreciate everyone's patience during the project. We know this was a major inconvenience."

The detour around the closure was more than 12 miles and added about 30 minutes to the trip.

While slips are unfortunately common in the hilly terrain of southeastern Ohio, this slide was one of the largest ODOT has had to deal with. Some of the project highlights include:

  • 350,000 cubic yards of excavation
  • Over 9,000 feet of 48″ diameter drilled shafts, including around 4,200 cubic yards of concrete, to stabilize the deep slip
  • Nearly 10,000 feet of 36″ steel H-piles weighing 1.5 million pounds
  • 5,800 feet of steel casing for the drilled shafts to allow the shafts to be constructed in poor soils
  • After earthwork was completed a new slip developed and was repaired by excavating and grading the unstable area

Due to the scope and impact of the project, ODOT immediately sought federal assistance to pay for the $8 million project. The Federal Highway Administration quickly awarded $4.5 million in emergency funding for the project. Overall, federal emergency funding will make up about 80 percent of the total project cost.

"Not only do these projects take a lot of time to fix, they're very costly. We really appreciate Governor Mike DeWine, Congressman Steve Stivers, State Rep. Ron Hood, and the Morgan County Commissioners for their work to help secure the emergency funding that made it possible to get this roadway reopened as soon as possible," Miller said. "I also want to thank the Meigsville and Morgan Township trustees for working with us on setting up a detour during the project."

State Route 376 carries more than 1,500 vehicles a day.

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