GALLIPOLIS — Ohio Department of Transportation officials and members of consulting engineering firm Mannik and Smith Group gathered with area stakeholders as they discussed potential options for changes to be made to the Ohio 7, Ohio 735 and US 35 exchange Wednesday afternoon in the Gallia Courthouse.
Stakeholders were asked to discuss among themselves from a variety of options offered by the consulting firm. Stakeholders then voted for which options they felt were most feasible to relieve maximize traffic flow efficiency and strength for area economic development.
The highest voted option described a possibility of moving US 35 westbound lanes to parallel existing US 35 eastbound lanes and to construct a diamond interchange at State Route 735. The option also suggested reducing State Route 735 to two lanes and realigning the road to connect with State Route 7 near the existing US 35 eastbound entrance ramp. Potentially construction would place a lane connected from Ohio 735 to Farm Road. Two bridges would also come with the option.
The second highest voted option would move US 35 eastbound lanes to parallel with US 35 westbound lanes and reduce Ohio 735 to two lanes and construct a diamond interchange on Ohio735. Roundabouts would be constructed on Burnett and Farm Roads, also requiring the construction of two bridges with the project.
Another option following closely behind the second would maintain US 35 east and westbound lanes in their current positions. A diamond interchange would be constructed at Farm Road. The option would require additional roadwork to connect with Ohio 7. Ohio 735 would be reduced to two lanes and a T-intersection constructed at Burnett Road. The option would remove Ohio 735 connections with Burnett Road to the west.
All options displayed were created utilizing peak traffic data measured over the course of 2014 to 2016 and to account for traffic flow estimates 20 years in the future.
A third stakeholder meeting be held in the future before a public meeting will be announced to discuss further changes to receive input from area citizens.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.