Construction Tour of the Nelsonville Bypass

Nick Sparks

Nick Sparks,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 19 November 2013 – The Nelsonville bypass is an 8.5 mile road around the city of Nelsonville, Ohio, not far from Ohio University in Athens. It was completed and open to the public in October 2013. About three weeks after completion my transportation class took a field trip to visit specific areas on the bypass so that we might have a better understand how designing and constructing a road way through a wooded area will impact the wildlife.

The ODOT officials who were responsible for overseeing the project went along so that they could explain what measures were taken to protect the wildlife. We made two stops throughout the trip, including one where we got to go under the road at an overpass and one so that the ODOT officials could explain and show how they are trying to reduce the number of deer on the road.

Our first stop was to see how the overpass was helping the wildlife. This overpass was put in for the animals so that they are able to cross under the road instead of having to cross on top of the road. Also the Wayne National Forest had built bat boxes and they were attached to the concrete under the overpass. (Click for a larger version of the image.)

Overpass across Deer Crossing on the Nelsonville Bypass

Our second stop was to see the deer fence. This fence travels along the entire length of the road on both sides and is eight feet tall. This is to prevent deer from getting onto the road way and getting hit by cars. This fence leads up to the overpass so that it acts like a funnel and is able to direct deer from one side to the other.

Interesting facts:
• 8.5 miles and cost over $160 million
• 26.6 million cubic yards of earthwork
• 18 bridges
• Over 200 thousand square yards of concrete pavement
• Over 150 thousand square yards of asphalt pavement

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