Construction to start in summer on Southern Ohio Veterans Memorial Highway

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will begin construction of the Southern Ohio Veterans Memorial Highway in Scioto County this summer with an expected completion in 2019.

The highway is the first public-private partnership in ODOT history, enabling the department to pay for it over 35 years while still building other state projects.

The Portsmouth Gateway Group will build the 16-mile, four-lane limited access highway from U.S. Route 23 north of Lucasville to U.S. Route 52 near Sciotoville. The highway will complete the Appalachian Development Highway System and improve safety in and around Portsmouth and Scioto County by removing heavy truck traffic from city streets.

The project also provides a more direct route between Interstate 70 and I-64, allowing goods to flow more quickly into and through the region. Studies show round-trip travel between U.S. Route 23 and U.S. Route 52 will be reduced by more than a half-hour.

The project is being financed with $227.36 million in tax-exempt private activity bonds and $208 million from a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan from the federal government. The TIFIA loan is a low-interest loan provided for projects of national and regional significance.