MONTVILLE TWP. — Questions were asked and concerns were voiced during an informational meeting about plans for a new roundabout at the intersection of state Route 3 and state Route 162 Thursday evening.
Hosted by the Ohio Department of Transportation, the meeting included a short presentation explaining the project by project consultant Brian Moore of Arcadis Design and Consultancy, as well as maps of the project displayed alongside ODOT representatives who answered questions.
“There has been a lot of research all over the U.S. for the last one or two decades on roundabouts and they have shown that there is a significant benefit compared to a signal from a safety perspective,” Moore said during the presentation.
According to information from ODOT, construction on the project will begin during summer 2021, with an expected 70-day completion time. The design phase of the project, which began this year, will conclude in 2021 and right of way acquisition will also take place between this year and 2021.
Moore said construction work would be done during the summer months to avoid conflicts with school buses, as the intersection will remain closed during construction.
Montville Township resident Ron Danhoffer said he serves as president of the homeowners association of the Highland Villas development, and came to try and get some answers about where traffic will detoured during construction.
“The concern that we heard from the residents was traffic, how is it going to be detoured, whether or not there would be an influx cutting through from (state Route) 162 to Poe Road,” Danhoffer said.
With the number of houses in the area, Danhoffer said traffic is heavy enough as is.
Moore said all detours during construction would be contained to state roads, and would not cut through any housing developments.
“So this was good to hear, that they are just going to detour on state routes,” Danhoffer said. “That was important to us to hear that.”
Kelby Crum, 66, said he lives just a few doors down from the intersection, and is aware of the number of accidents that have occurred there over the years.
“I have heard (the crashes) and then the rescue squad coming,” Crum said.
Crum said there are days when he sees traffic significantly congested, and he is in support of the roundabout.
“It has been needing something for 10 years,” Crum said.
Montville Township Trustee Sally Albrecht said she is optimistic the new roundabout will be an effective tool for crash prevention.
According to ODOT, there have been 53 collisions at the intersection between 2011 and 2017, and more than 20 percent of those crashes resulted in injury.
“People naturally slow down with a roundabout, so it is a good way to manage that area and reduce accidents,” she said.
Albrecht said the entire cost of the project, estimated at $1.3 million, will be funded through the state as both roadways in question are state routes.
Moore said other safety aspects include the reduction of possible impact points from 32 down to eight, and an 87 percent reduction in the number of both fatal and non-fatal injury crashes over a traditional intersection.
Moore said state Route 3 currently has about 9,700 vehicles per day traveling it, and state Route 162 sees just over 3,000 vehicles per day. The proposed single-lane roundabout is capable of handling between 20,000 and 25,000 vehicles per day, Moore said.
For information regarding the project, area residents can email ODOT representative Don Rostofer at Donald.Rostofer@dot.ohio.gov.