LIMA ó With the recent string of wrong-way accidents on Interstate 75 in northwest Ohio, the Ohio Department of Transportation is trying to enhance its signage to distinguish the northbound and southbound lanes in specific areas.
Monday night, Gregory Orick, 40, of Lima, drove south in the northbound lanes on I-75 in Wood County near milepost 171, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
Just two weeks ago, a Wapakoneta man was killed in a head-on crash when he drove his pickup truck south in the northbound lanes on I-75 near Cridersville in Auglaize County.
Rhonda Pees, Public Information Officer for ODOTís District 1, which covers Hancock, Allen, Hardin, Wyandot, Defiance, Van Wert, Paulding and Putnam counties, said there are specific areas, called partial clover leaf intersections, where ODOT plans to vamp up the signage.
"In those particular intersections where the entrance and exit traffic is side-by-side, we are enhancing or looking at enhancing the signage in that area," Pees said. "Those are called partial clover leaf intersections."
The enhanced signage would include dual route marker signs, which are signs that have big arrows pointing down, specifying exactly where I-75 south is and exactly where I-75 north is.
Pees also said theyíre thinking of painting pavement marking arrows in addition to the dual route marker signs.
"So those would be directional arrows on the pavement itself telling you to go this way," Pees said. "In this case, it would be more of a little enhancement to existing signage."
Pees said ODOT is thinking of modifying signage at the I-75 and state Route 309 interchange along with the U.S. Route 68 and U.S. Route 30 interchange. The entrance where Orick drove onto I-75 was not a partial clover leaf intersection.
But she said for the I-75 construction in Hancock County, ODOT is not concerned about increasing or enhancing signage because none of the northbound or southbound ramps are constructed as partial clover leaf intersections.
"On the I-75 project, thereís no interchanges that exist there that are within that configuration," Pees said. "The way they exist now, they arenít that way anyway. So itís just at certain locations."
She said the reason her district is looking at wrong-way signage is because there have been serious accidents both north and south of District 1.
"When something like that occurs, we as an agency talk about that statewide just to see what can work on and what we could improve," she said.