Road closures cause concern in township

CALCUTTA-St. Clair Township officials have received quite a few phone calls from residents concerned about the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) closing a portion of state Route 170 for tree trimming and vegetation management.

According to Police Chief Don Hyatt, residents should not be too concerned about the closures as “road closed” signs have been placed well ahead of the actual work zone and closures will only take place during certain hours of the day.

“We’re getting calls because people think its closed right here (in Calcutta),” said Hyatt.

In a recent press release, ODOT said crews will be using a “SkyTrim” unit to remove the tree canopy and other vegetation from the right-of-way. The release states the work is being done to improve road safety during the winter months and to extend the life of the state route’s pavement.

The project started Monday and is scheduled to be completed by Sept. 12. The work will take place 8 a.m. to 5 pm., after which the road will be reopened to traffic.

At Tuesday’s meeting of the St. Clair Township trustees, Hyatt said the work zone will stretch from Main Street in Fredericktown to the northern-most portion of Smith Road. He explained that although “road closed” signs have been placed as far away as the intersection of state Route 170 and Calcutta Smith-Ferry Road, motorist will be able to go as far as Fredericktown before encountering any closure. Trustees said similar projects in the township have gone smoothly and they do not expect problems.

In other business, trustees announced work will likely begin Sept. 8 on the initial phase of Buckeye Water District’s Old Fredericktown Road road water line extension project. Construction will begin at state Route 170 and extend to Ruby Drive.

For now, the line will extend only to Ruby Drive due to funding reasons. Trustees say BWD officials are currently searching for grants and other sources to extend the water line project further. Residents with questions are encouraged to call Buckeye Water District.