Engineer evaluating intersections

Published 10:20 am Friday, April 10, 2015

Lawrence County Engineer Doug Cade had an open house Wednesday at the Chamber of Commerce in South Point to inform people of intersection projects aiming to make driving safer at those areas.

“Over 50 came to the open house, both businesses and private citizens,” Cade said. “I haven’t had a chance to look at the feedback cards yet, but from what people have told me verbally, the response has been pretty positive.”

The intersections of County Road 1 and County Road 15 on U.S. 52 will be upgraded, as it is the No. 5 intersection location in Lawrence County for accidents, Cade said.

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“We get all of the crash reports from the Ohio State Highway Patrol and other law enforcement,” Cade said. “Over time, we look at those and determine where the most accidents happen and the severity of them.”

There are four alternatives that Cade and the county are currently looking at to replace what exists in that location now. The first is widening U.S. 52 and creating turning lanes on both sides, while lining up County Road 1 and County Road 15 for a completely new intersection.

The remaining roads that would get closed off would become dead ends. The second alternative is similar to the first, but would keep County Road 15 where it is and just moving the County Road 1 intersection to line them up. The third option is to eliminate both intersections and build a connector road on the east side of 52 that runs all the way to County Road 450, and the fourth option is to eliminate both intersections and build an interchange that serves both County Road 1 and County Road 15.

The other projects being examined by the county are the intersections of U.S. 52 and Solida Road and County Road 410 and Township Road 1012 or Walmart Way in South Point.

“There are about 9,800 vehicles that use the Walmart Way intersection a day,” Cade said. “That is the highest accident location on county roads in all of Lawrence County.”

Like the intersections of county roads 1 and 15, all of these have multiple alternatives that are being examined as possible solutions.

Cade said that he has met with the businesses around the Walmart Way intersection to see what they wanted as far as intersection improvements. Some alternatives include all stops, a traffic signal and a roundabout.

“I met with Speedway, Wendy’s, Sam’s Club, Walmart and the shopping center developer,” Cade said. “The majority of businesses want a roundabout to keep traffic moving. Thirty percent of the county’s sales tax revenue comes from that shopping center area. That’s why we went to the businesses to find out what they want to see.”

All of these are capital improvement projects that Cade said he has been looking at since he took office.

“Right now, we are just in the evaluating process,” Cade said. “We will determine what we end up doing for sure by looking at all of the community input.”