The major U.S. Route 50 culvert replacement project in McArthur is set to begin work soon as some potential problems have been worked out.

According to McArthur Mayor Steve Hammond, the latest information he has is there has been an adjustment to the original design and the Ohio Department of Transportation will not need rights-of-way permission signatures from some of the affected residents. Several of those residents attended the most recent meeting of McArthur Village Council, and after a long discussion with council members, they decided not to sign the permission slips so an alternative plan was made.

Once the construction starts, traffic will be maintained although it will be reduced to one lane at times. The estimated price tag on the project is more than $400,000. The material to be used is Redi-Rock. It is a pre-engineered retaining wall that has passed engineering stress tests and has become a popular option for use in road work.

According to the Redi-Rock website, “Engineers rely on Redi-Rock retaining walls to build abutments and wing walls for bridge and culvert projects. These massive blocks provide the stability needed for critical projects.”

Since development has come to the west side of the village since 2000, a heavier grade material will be needed.

Mayor Hammond explained most culvert replacement projects are a minor inconvenience, but the location of the culvert in this case makes the project a crucial one. A potential fall of the culvert, located near the Main Eatery Restaurant, would effectively split McArthur from a transportation standpoint.  The downtown business district, the courthouse area, and large nearby residential areas would be split from the high/middle school area, athletic facilities, and several major retailers, which are all on the west side of town.

Hammond said the project has a major impact for the police and fire departments as well as the EMS, Vinton County Local Schools, and motorists. Detours around the area could take from one to two hours as there are no alternative street connections in the village that could be used as a bypass.

The McArthur Police will also be monitoring the situation as the construction process continues.