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After nearly 7 years, lanes will soon re-open along Ohio 7

Some southbound lanes of Route 7 in Jefferson County that have been closed since 2012 will re-open soon to traffic.

Some southbound lanes of Route 7 in Jefferson County that have been closed since 2012 will re-open soon to traffic.

It’s been 6 years of lane changes, traffic jams and construction work along the route after a rock slide came down, ruining the roadway.

"Currently we’re rebuilding the pavement that was damaged through construction,” said Adam Lytton, Ohio Department of Transportation field engineer. “The next thing you’ll see early next week, late next week, will be new asphalt being laid here."

After that, the lane restrictions should taper off.

"Hopefully, you’ll have 3 weeks out, we’ll have traffic back in here through the southbound lanes," Lytton said.

Getting this project done hasn’t been ODOT’s only concern on this site. A nest of bald eagles lived up in the tree line of the blasting zone when the job began in 2015. They worked with wildlife experts to relocate the eagles, and thankfully, they made a new home along the side of what’s now the nearly finished project

"Since about 2015 when this project started, we’ve moved just about 3 million cubic yards of dirt," Lytton said.

All while being careful not to disturb the birds and get the project done as proactively as possible and get residents back to their open lanes.

"Everyone gets frustrated sitting in traffic, no matter what we do. We’re getting close to the big day re-opening the southbound lanes," Lytton said.

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