Grants to fund safety studies

Published 9:47 am Thursday, September 29, 2011

May be starting point for funds for improvements

Close to $200,000 in transportation grants for safety studies have been awarded to the county engineer’s office.

These grants will fund studies whose results may lead to changes in signage and markings on county roadways along with other improvements.

“I met with the county engineer’s association in the spring after I took office and discussed what we need to do to be eligible for funds for other projects in the county,” County Engineer Doug Cade said. “They said in order to be eligible several studies had to be conducted for data to be gathered to be eligible for grants.”

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Six studies were approved by the County Engineers Association of Ohio. They include studies on safe speed on curves for a cost of $40,066 of which $36,059 will be paid for from the grant; crash data for a cost of $30,000 of which $27,000 will be from a grant; GIS input for a cost of $5,000 with $4,500 from a grant; regulatory, warning and guide post for a cost of $62,500 with $50,000 from a grant; pavement marking inventory for a cost of $28,600 with $25,740 from a grant; and sign inventory for a cost of $41,872 with $37,685 from a grant.

“With regard to crash data what that will do hopefully is improve safety at those intersections where we see a lot of accidents and make it safer,” Cade said. “Pavement markers. We don’t have detailed information about all of our center-line stripes. We will be eligible for pavement mark grants. That way people can see where the edge of road and center of the road are.”

It costs $100,000 a year to put center-line stripes on the 270 miles of paved roads in the county. Striping on average costs $850 a mile.

The curve speed and signage studies can work hand-in-hand to provide safety for those from out of the area unfamiliar with county roads.

“It is not necessarily for the citizens of Lawrence County,” Cade said. “They know where the stop signs are and the road names. When people come from out of the area, they don’t know when they come to a three-way intersection knowing where you are supposed to stop or if. And with the curvy roads in Lawrence County, we can give advanced warning to negotiate those curves.”

The studies are expected to be completed by July. At that time Cade plans to make application for grants to pay for the construction projects, which should be finished in two years.