Western Avenue Intersection to be Modified - not Closed - to Keep Motorists Safe
Intersection changes begin February 1
Lima (Monday, January 25, 2010) – After closely working with City of Findlay officials and representatives from fire, police and the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Ohio Department of Transportation will modify rather than close the intersection of Western Avenue and Township Road 81 with U.S. 68/Ohio 15 south of Findlay.
On January 11, ODOT announced its intention to completely close the intersection citing mounting safety concerns. Between 2001 and 2009 there were 25 intersection-related accidents, of which 12 involved vehicles turning left or vehicles crossing through the intersection.
Recognizing the need to address safety, city and state officials worked in cooperation toward the decision which will modify the intersection so that access to U.S. 68/Ohio 15 will be maintained from both Western Avenue and from Township Road 81; however, the median area will be closed to prevent traffic from crossing the highway.
All concerned entities agreed that conditions at the intersection needed to change to reduce accidents.
“This essentially allows for only right turns onto the highway and right turns from the highway,” said Leonard Brown, deputy director for the Ohio Department of Transportation District 1. “By keeping the access from the side roads but eliminating the median, conflicts between vehicles which contribute to crashes are eliminated,” he said.
The modifications are scheduled to begin February 1. The yellow flashing beacon currently at the intersection will remain in operation. A temporary barrier will be placed in the median area until removal of the pavement can be done at a later time.
“Keeping the intersection operating in part accomplishes our goal of maintaining emergency access for the safety of city residents living in the Spring Lake subdivision, and satisfies ODOT’s goal of making the highway in this area safer,” said City of Findlay Mayor Pete Sehnert. “We appreciated the opportunity to discuss this with ODOT officials and support the result,” he said.
ODOT will continue to monitor the intersection. “We are serious about safety and have a zero tolerance for identified highway safety hazards. We will continue to be diligent in this pursuit at this location and throughout our eight-county district,” said Brown.
For more information contact:
Rhonda Pees, Public Information Officer, at (419) 999-6803
or email D01.PIO@dot.state.oh.us