Traffic circle upgrade gets go-ahead

By Josh Ellerbrock -

LIMA — Downtown Lima’s traffic circle is set for some major improvements over the next two years now that Lima City Council approved an engineering contract for the unique intersection during its Monday night meeting.

While the final design is still a ways away — construction isn’t scheduled until April 2022 — engineers will be taking the first steps to study what upgrades the intersection warrants. Over the next year, engineers are expected to consider “traffic and pedestrian counts, signal warrant analysis, public meeting support and conceptual design to show alternatives for vehicular and pedestrian safety improvements,” according to a city council communication detailing the project.

Cost of the engineering analysis, to be conducted by Columbus-based engineering firm, Crawford, Murphy & Tilly, Inc., is expected not to exceed $83,482.

As for the cost of the upgrades themselves, the Ohio Department of Transportation awarded the city $880,000 to improve safety at the intersection, specifically on Main Street between Market and Wayne streets.

What the final intersection design will look like will be up for some deliberation by the public within the coming months, and final plans are slated to be informed by public meetings.

The current Main and Market street intersection, or Town Square, is a relatively unique design in engineering circles as the north/south thoroughfares were effectively carved out of a standing traffic circle. Due to the design, vehicles driving on Market Street wanting to turn left through the intersection often cause congestion during slight upticks in traffic.

In related news, Lima City Council also:

• Approved a resolution establishing the honorary position of Lima’s Poet Laureate. Representatives from Artspace/Lima and the Mayor’s Office will chose the individual who serves in the voluntary position, and any future poet laureates shall be “proclaimed by the Mayor and City Council.”

• Received and filed the communication informing council of the appointment of Robert Fitzgerald, Cathy Clark, Kent Fultz, Bart Mills, Mike Flynn and Ken Blanchard onto the city’s newly-established historic preservation board, which facilitates the steps local developers need to take to apply for outside historic preservation dollars.

By Josh Ellerbrock

Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.

Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.

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