Project will help Amsterdam, Route 43

Residents of Amsterdam and everyone who drives on state Route 43 through the village received some good news last week when it was announced that work was starting on a project that will see a dangerous S-curve removed.

For years, the road that snaked through the heart of the village was a nuisance for motorists and residents.

The increase in truck traffic on Route 43, which connects Steubenville and Cleveland, that came with the construction of the Wal-Mart Distribution Center outside Wintersville and the growth of the oil and gas industry in the region, made travel through the area even more difficult and raised additional safety concerns.

The bend is so sharp that it is not possible for two trucks to pass each other on that stretch of road, forcing drivers to use their radios to coordinate their trips through the village and navigate the narrow street.

A study by the Brooke-Hancock-Jefferson Regional Planning Commission conducted at the request of the Ohio Department of Transportation showed that 2,200 vehicles travel through Amsterdam each day, with trucks making up 19 percent of northbound traffic and 17.5 percent of southbound traffic.

Results of that study convinced BHJ’s Transportation Policy Study Committee to spend $460,000 in federal money to remove the turn. ODOT, for its part, will spend more than $360,000 on the design, right-of-way purchase and construction inspection, while the village will use a $110,000 grant obtained from the Ohio Public Works Commission to complete the funding puzzle for the project, which will include new sidewalks and drainage in the affected area.

Route 43 has been an important link in our area’s transportation network since it was created in the mid-1920s, serving as a convenient way to connect Steubenville, Wintersville, Richmond and Amsterdam with Carrollton, Canton and points north.

Thanks to the cooperation of local government and state and government agencies, motorists soon will find it easier to navigate the portion of this vital road that runs though Amsterdam.