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ODOT initiates safety study, plans to place additional signage along U.S. 24

Temporary video cameras to be placed at select intersections in Paulding County

LIMA (Tuesday, October 7, 2014) The Ohio Department of Transportation has put in motion several initiatives to improve the U.S. 24 corridor in Paulding, Defiance and Henry counties in response to accidents which have occurred at the at-grade intersections along the route.

 

Among the initiatives is the placement of video cameras which will be located at two intersections in Paulding County where a number of accidents have occurred. The cameras will be temporarily installed at the intersections of U.S. 24 and County Road 87 and County Road 143 on October 14 and will begin recording immediately. The cameras will record for one week.

 

Kirk Slusher, Ohio Department of Transportation District 1 deputy director, emphasized the recordings from the cameras are for analytical purposes only and will not be used for law enforcement purposes.

 

“The cameras will provide valuable insight into how drivers on U.S. 24 and those traveling through the intersections are negotiating their movements during both day and nighttime hours. This will help us see what roadway conditions or driver behaviors could be contributing to the occurrence of accidents,” said Slusher.

 

These particular intersections were chosen for videoing because of the number of accidents and fatalities which have occurred at each. From 2010 through June of 2014, six accidents occurred at County Road 143 with three fatalities resulting. At County Road 87, four accidents occurred with three fatalities resulting.

 

Yet this year, ODOT plans to add additional signage throughout the U.S. 24 corridor in Paulding and Defiance counties. “These are things we can do rather quickly to bring greater awareness of the intersections to motorists on both U.S. 24 and at the crossroads,” said Slusher.

 

In the coming weeks, the department plans to place the following additional signage at the indicated locations:

·       Signs on U.S. 24 which state “Intersections Next (xx) Miles” will be posted at the Indiana line for drivers heading eastbound, at the Defiance/Henry County line for drivers heading westbound, and on each side of the city of Defiance for both eastbound and westbound traffic.

 

·       An additional “Intersection Ahead” sign will be placed on U.S. 24 in both the eastbound and westbound direction prior to each intersection in Paulding and Defiance counties. This sign is currently only posted on the driver’s right, but an additional sign will be placed on the driver’s left as well.

·       An additional “Stop” sign will be added on the driver’s left at each crossroad in Paulding and Defiance counties.

·       “Look Again” signs will be placed on the back side of each right-hand stop sign at each crossroad in Paulding and Defiance counties. The signs will direct traffic crossing U.S. 24 or turning onto U.S. 24 to look again before proceeding.

 

An overall study of the U.S. 24 corridor in Paulding, Defiance and Henry counties has been initiated and will examine more long-range plans to improve the safety of the corridor. Among the options would be constructing overheads at particular locations, reconfiguring the access at others and perhaps closing access completely at some.

 

“The analysis and the ultimate decisions which result will take time to carry out. We will continue to communicate with the community and encourage them to remain in contact with us regarding the enhanced safety of U.S. 24,” said Slusher.

 

From 2010 to present, 22 accidents have occurred along U.S. 24 in Paulding County. Six of those accidents resulted in seven fatalities which occurred at County Road 143, County Road 87 and County Road 115.

 

In Defiance County two accidents occurred within that same time frame with no fatalities resulting. In Henry County, 15 accidents occurred resulting in eight injuries.

 

Last year, officials with ODOT District 1 consulted with federal officials, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, and both the Paulding County Commissioners office and the Paulding County Sheriff’s Department in response to the accidents in Paulding County. As a result, pavement markings were added to the intersections with U.S. 24 at County Road 21, Township Road 83, County Road 87, County Road 115, County Road 232, County Road 133 and County Road 143 to better define the median areas at each at-grade intersection. These markings were recently repainted.

 

In August of this year, Slusher led a community discussion in Paulding regarding the accident issue. The comments received there and since are being considered as part of the analysis.

 

 

 

Ohio’s highways are essential to keeping and creating new jobs. With a mission to provide easy movement of people and goods from place to place, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is responsible for maintaining one of the largest transportation networks in the nation. Guided by ethical principles and accountability, ODOT works to improve safety, enhance travel and advance economic development. As a $2.8 billion enterprise, the department wisely invests in its core services of snow and ice removal, annual construction program and highway maintenance operations.

 

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For more information contact:
Rhonda Pees, Public Information Officer, at (419) 999-6803
or email
D01.PIO@dot.state.oh.us​