Shawnee Township intersection to convert to a roundabout

LIMA — A busy intersection near the Lima Cenovus Refinery will become a roundabout intersection after qualifying for more than $2.3 million in funding through the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Improvement Program.

According to a recent announcement from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s office, nearly $87 million is set to be invested through this program into 28 roadway safety projects in 22 counties, the majority focusing on hazardous intersections. One of the projects involves the intersection of Fort Amanda and Buckeye Roads in Shawnee Township.

“When it comes to our roadways, safety will always be our top priority,” DeWine said in the release. “Our goal is to save lives by investing to improve dangerous intersections.”

Of the 28 projects, 19 will involve the construction of a roundabout, including the Allen County project. According to Allen County Engineer Brion Rhodes, the Fort Amanda/Buckeye intersection qualified for the funding after a study showed some safety-related issues that needed to be addressed.

“From those results on the Buckeye and Fort Amanda intersection in the study period, which was 2020 through 2022, in that three-year period there were 30 accidents, an average of 10 a year,” he said. “Of those 30 accidents, nine were serious injury or injury-related. So that meant 30 percent of the accidents. That qualified it for safety funding for construction and design.”

Being close to facilities like the refinery, Nutrien, the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center and others, both Fort Amanda and Buckeye Roads experience a higher volume of traffic, Rhodes said.

“Fort Amanda Road has about 7,500 cars a day, on average,” he said. “Buckeye Road has about 7,200.”

The $2,353,500 the county will receive for this project will cover 90 percent of the total cost, Rhodes said, with the county picking up the remainder, which should be around $240,000. The next step for the county is to work with ODOT to select a consultant to design the roundabout.

“Because this is safety-oriented and it’s coming from the governor’s office, this is to be fast-tracked,” he said. “Therefore, the construction funding is set up for fiscal year 2027, which would be any time after July 2026. So they’re expecting us to get a consultant on board, get the design rolling, get the right-of-way bought and get it constructed fairly quickly.”

With those stipulations, Rhodes expects the roundabout to be completed some time in 2027 or 2028.