LIMA — Allen County commissioners approved a resolution allowing for the payment of three road safety improvement studies during Thursday’s board meeting, but research into Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) data by The Lima News has found that one of the studies will be looking at an intersection with no accidents between 2012 and 2016.
The official resolution approves a road safety improvement study to be performed at the intersection of Elm Street and Fraunfelter Road, but ODOT data does not mark that intersection as a site of multiple accidents. The intersection of Agerter and Wapakoneta Roads, however, was meant to be named in the resolution as it has seen at least 11 accidents between 2012 and 2016— the time period defined by the latest ODOT accident maps. The discrepancy was confirmed by County Engineer Brian Rhodes, who presented the resolution at the county board meeting.
As the resolution has already been officially approved, the study will continue to look at the intersection of Elm Street and Fraunfelter Road. Rhodes said that he may be able to expand the bounds of the study to look at the more dangerous intersection, as it is roughly half a mile away.
The other road sections identified as needing road safety improvements include an almost two-mile section of Sugar Street from State Route 81 to Bible Road and the intersection of Elida and Lehman Roads. According to ODOT data, each section has seen at least five accidents in between 2012 and 2016. An accident in 2013 at the intersection of Elida and Lehman roads sent three people to St. Rita’s Medical Center after a driver failed to see the stop sign.
The engineering studies will be paid for in part by a federal reimbursement grant from the County Engineers Association of Ohio Highway Safety Improvement Program. Purchase of the study was unanimously accepted by Allen County Commissioners after presented by Rhodes.
The reimbursement grant will pay for 90 percent of the cost of the three engineering studies — $42,000 in total. The rest of cost will be covered by motor vehicle and gasoline taxes.
The types of improvements will be determined by the engineering studies and could result in something as simple as increased signage or as complex as construction of additional lanes, Rhodes said.
“We can’t prevent all accidents, but we believe improvements can be made at these locations to help reduce the number of accidents,” Rhodes said.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.