The first economic stimulus-funded project in the Ohio Department of Transportation's District 6 is under way.

The first economic stimulus-funded project in the Ohio Department of Transportation's District 6 is under way.

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signs are being erected on U.S. Route 23, signaling the start of construction on nine bridges in Pickaway County.

Columbus-based Complete General Construction was awarded the contract for the project.

"Last year, we had to lay off more employees than ever before," said Jim George, vice president of operations for Complete General Construction. "This construction project in Pickaway County, along with other work, has allowed us to maintain our work force and rehire almost everyone we had to lay off in the last year."

The $9.8-million project will improve nine bridges along the U.S. Route 23 corridor in Pickaway County from U.S. 22 to state Route 361.

One lane of traffic will be maintained in each direction at all times on U.S. 23 during construction this year and next. At the end of the construction season this year, traffic will resume on two lanes in each direction.

This stimulus-funded project is to be completed in fall 2010.

An average of 27,000 vehicles travel the U.S. 23 corridor in Pickaway County every day.