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UPDATE: Farson Street Water Main Work Wednesday

By: Jillian Risberg, Todd Baucher Email
By: Jillian Risberg, Todd Baucher Email
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Update: 10/08/2013 5:00 P.M.

Major water disruptions on the way for some Belpre residents.

It's all part of that street widening construction on Farson street.

Beginning Wednesday afternoon at five, water pressure on the west end of Belpre will be lowered so parts of the Farson street water main can be moved.

The following streets are affected:

Farson Street from Washington Boulevard north to Valleyview Drive.

Hanvey Street

Norris Avenue

Bellview Street

Park View Street

Valleyview Drive

Rockland Avenue from Mary Street west

The city has issued a boil advisory, because of the possibility that water might be contaminated.

"It's rule of thumb: if you build a road, where is your first water leak? It will be right underneath that brand new road," says Mayor Mike Lorentz. "So we're making sure this is done, and ( Wednesday) should be the last boil advisory in that area because of this."

The city says water pressure will be restored as soon as possible.

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UPDATE 9/27/2013 5:15 PM

Phase two of the Farson Street construction starts Saturday.

The traffic pattern is changing again.

Mayor Mike Lorentz says if you enter Farson from Washington Boulevard the only place you can go is to the railroad tracks and the road closes.

Instead, he says enter from Route 7 up near Speedway, go to the hospital and clear through to Kentucky Fried Chicken on Washington.

"We're going to be a little stricter at this point in that the guys are going to be working the intersections at Rockland, Norris and Hanvey -- and the officers aren't going to be quite as lenient on the warnings," Lorentz says.

The mayor says if you come from the south and travel across the railroad tracks the wrong direction, there's a pretty good chance you're going to get a ticket for entering a construction zone illegally.
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It will improve the city and ease traffic -- when construction is done on Farson Street.

"It won't bother me a bit,” says David Lopardus, of Belpre.

A Belpre thoroughfare is expanding.

"If you enter Farson Street from the four-lane, you'll only be able to go as far as the hospital,” says Mayor Mike Lorentz.

Choose your routes wisely.

"If you come from the Washington Boulevard side or Rockland Avenue side near the railroad tracks, you'll be able to go clear through and out on the four-lane,” the mayor says. “It's gonna be this way probably through about the first of October.”

David isn't concerned.

"Ya know, there's other ways you can go around it, so I don't think it's gonna cause me any trouble,” he says.

The influx of medical care translates to gridlock like never before.

"The traffic on Farson Street has more than quadrupled because the hospital buildings and the doctors offices,” Lorentz says.

They're widening Farson to a three-lane.

"And giving you a turning lane in the center to keep traffic flowing, get you off four-lane, away from the railroad tracks and Washington Boulevard,” Lorentz says.

Tempers may flare.

Coolville resident Jonathan Graham thinks it'll cause a lot of delays and people will get frustrated.

Congestion is part of the picture.

"So, the more people that need to leave a few minutes early for work and need to be careful in those areas, watch the construction workers, it'll just do away with some of the accidents and holdups,” Lorentz says.

Jonathan will come up with a way around the project.

"If I come through town, I usually come down through Farson,” he says. “But if there's gonna be the delays, I’ll just find another route."

Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) supports the project and the city is going to make it as easy and painless as possible for everyone.

Construction starts on Monday, August 12.


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