IT SEEMS very appropriate that a man with the surname of Street worked on milestone projects in highway construction that benefit motorists today.
C. Clark Street, who died Saturday in Columbus, was project manager for two 1950s projects which helped to introduce Interstate 70 to Belmont County. Those two projects combined took I-70 around St. Clairsville.
The Ohio Contractors Association magazine, published to honor Street on his retirement in 2007, describes the I-70/St. Clairsville Bypass as one of his milestone projects when he worked for the Ohio Department of Highways, which later became the Ohio Department of Transportation.
Street, a St. Clairsville native, served in various capacities with the state highway system for 29 years and then headed the Ohio Contractors Association for 24 years.
Belmont County's introduction to the interstate system began with the St. Clairsville Bypass, which initially was part of U.S. 40 before becoming part of I-70. Begun in 1956, it was adjacent to another project dating from 1958, and Street was project engineer for both sections of highway.
A ceremony was held in October 1959 for the opening of I-70 in the Banfield Road area, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol led more than 100 cars on the first crossing of that new section of interstate highway after a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Both projects were completed before the construction of the Ohio Valley Mall.
STREET worked on many other highway projects during his nearly three decades in the state highway system, but the St. Clairsville Bypass and the construction of I-70 are especially helpful to area residents.
Think how slow that travel was in the pre-interstate days. As Street himself once noted, "The lowest speed anyone traveled on that old road (U.S. 40) set the speed for everyone else."
The 1949 St. Clairsville High School graduate who earned a degree in civil engineering from Case Western Reserve also had memories of that area of Belmont County before the major highways were constructed. The land was covered with woods and farms, and Street remembered it as ideal for rabbit hunting.
Street, a likable, personable man, also was interested in family, friends and sports.
His expertise in highway construction is memorable.