By MARK J. MILLER
WINTERSVILLE - Administrators, state officials, local politicians and workers were on hand Tuesday for the official opening of the new Ohio Department of Transportation District 11's maintenance facility.
SPECIAL CEREMONY — The Ohio Department of Transportation District 11 officially opened its new maintenance facility off state Route 43 Tuesday with speeches and a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Those on hand for the event included, from left, John Petrisko, ODOT transportation manager; state Sen. Lou Gentile, D-Steubenville; Steve Limbacher, ODOT District 11 facilities manager; state Rep. Jack Cera, D-Bellaire; Tom Corey, District 11 highway management administrator; Roger Roth, highway technician; Jerry Wary, ODOT’s statewide director; Mark Sprouse, ODOT Jefferson County employee; Ryan Jones, ODOT Jefferson County employee; Lloyd MacAdam, ODOT District 11 deputy director; Mark Leatherwood, president of LW Associates Inc. of Ashville, Ohio, general construction contractor; and Ben Kunze, ODOT District 11 business and human resources manager. - Mark J. Miller
The $7.5 million project was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and speeches by those involved, including ODOT's statewide Director Jerry Wray; Lloyd MacAdam, ODOT District 11 deputy director; and Roger Roth, a Jefferson County ODOT highway technician.
The new facility, located near the Jefferson County Industrial Park, replaces the former facility near the Ohio State Highway Patrol headquarters on Cadiz Road in Wintersville. Construction of the facility began in October of last year. At the time construction began, ODOT officials cited several advantages to relocating to a new, modern facility off state Route 43, with room for all vehicles under cover, a larger salt storage facility and a more centralized location nearer state highways, according to MacAdam.
"(This storage bin) soon will be filled with 6,000 tons of salt," he said, adding other additions include a "mix" building, an equipment storage building, a truck storage facility and a main maintenance garage with office space. "The salt building improves our service and replaces a 60-year-old, outdated facility."
Other advantages to the new, 11-acre site include less traffic and noise to neighbors and no more trucks being parked outside in inclement weather, said MacAdam.
"This is a tremendous facility," he continued, heaping accolades on the general contractor LW Associates Inc. of Ashville, Ohio. "They stayed on schedule and they stayed on budget.
"Relocating near the Jefferson County Industrial Park will help us be better community members by relieving a residential area of the traffic and noise associated with our 24-hour operations in the winter," MacAdam continued. "No matter how conscientious our staff was or how hard we tried over the years we could not be the best of neighbors in that environment."
Roth said he and the staffers are "excited ODOT has provided us with this new facility."
Wray said the new facility will enable ODOT locally to be more professional and provide better, more efficient service to Jefferson County.
"We need the right (facilities) and the right equipment to be a long-term professional organization," said Wray. "It's a $7.5 million investment in Jefferson County. It's (also an investment) in our people at ODOT who do great things for Ohio communities. It's the ODOT worker who fills the potholes after it eats a piece of roadway. It's the ODOT worker who plows the snow to make our travels much easier in the winter. And this new facility will help them accomplish all of those tasks."
Wary stressed ODOT "needed to be good neighbors" and attempt to keep dust and noise to a minimum.
The ceremony ended with the ribbon-cutting.
(Miller can be contacted at email@example.com.)