By AMY GAREIS

News-Herald Staff Writer

CADIZ – Work has officially begun along a two-mile stretch of U.S. 250, and officials say so far so good.

The $4.3 million upgrade started Sept. 7 and the route is closed for a total of 45 calendar days for pavement replacement. The target area is 2.4 miles of the artery between Mizer and Milliken roads, east of the former Coultrap’s store to west of Mallernee’s Market. The project has been contracted through Shelly & Sands Inc. of Zanesville.

A vast portion of the motorists were utilizing the 10-mile detour, which includes Ohio 9 at Cadiz to Ohio 151 to Scio and Bowerston, eventually reconnecting at U.S. 250 past the lake. Temporary signals and signs were placed at the intersection of Ohio 9 and U.S. 22 with more at Ohio 151 and U.S. 250, plus the two ramps at Cadiz, to accommodate increased traffic and some lower speed limits. Another bypass was designated for local traffic along Stock Township Road 314, or Brough Road, as well as County Roads 2 and 3, or Deersville Ridge and Barricklow roads.

The former U.S. 250 is being maintained for safety forces and ODOT has kept in contact with law enforcement and emergency crews, as well.

Three houses are located inside the work zone and orange passes were given to those residents to grant access. People utilizing the route without permission will be prosecuted for trespassing.

“We’ve reduced speed limits on the local detour that people need to be aware of,” said Transportation Manager 3 Jay Cole. “We dropped it by 10 miles per hour along Ohio 151 and Ohio 9 in certain areas, including near Bowerston and along Ohio 9 outside of Scio and Cadiz.”

A Nov. 30 completion date had been set, but Cole said it could occur around late October if all goes according to plan.