LIMA — With much of the area’s attention focused on the Ohio Department of Transportation’s work on Interstate 75, another regional project will be discussed at a public meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Shawnee Township Administration Building.
The department is looking to reconstruct the intersection of state Route 117 with state Route 501 and Wapak Road. The intersection’s current design has presented issues with awkward viewing angles, limiting motorists’ ability to view approaching traffic.
“Several years ago, we were approached as a district to do a safety audit for a location in our district, encouraged by the Federal Highway Administration, and we looked at this intersection,” project manager Eric Scheckelhoff said. “It had a crash history and for that area in Allen County, there were a higher number of incidents happening there. Some of the severity of the accidents there drew attention to that intersection.”
With those results, the department begin implimenting some of the lower-cost strategies for improving the intersection, such as clearing brush or moving road signs, during which time it began examining how to rebuild the intersection to improve highway safety. Two alternatives were presented, and both will be available to the public at Thursday’s meeting.
“We have one that we refer to as our recommended alternative, but we’ll present at least two options and let the public see it. We’re willing to hear their opinions regarding the alternatives,” Scheckelhoff said. “There’s one that we feel more strongly toward than the other, but it’s not one that we’re moving forward with. We’re still going to entertain people’s opinions about the options we’re showing, as well as if there’s anything else they want us to consider.”
The Ohio Department of Transportation will continue to entertain public input on the project until May 30.