By 1812Blockhouse

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Director Jack Marchbanks have announced a significant investment in road safety, including a vital project in Mansfield. As part of ODOT’s Highway Safety Improvement Program, nearly $87 million will be allocated to 28 roadway safety projects across 22 counties. The initiative aims to enhance safety at dangerous intersections, with a strong focus on reducing deadly crashes.

The Mansfield Project

Among the funded projects, Mansfield has been awarded $639,000 for intersection signal and pedestrian improvements at Park Avenue West and Trimble Road. Scheduled for completion in 2027, this project is crucial for the local community, aiming to address safety concerns at a busy intersection that poses risks to both drivers and pedestrians.

Governor DeWine emphasized the importance of such projects, stating, “When it comes to our roadways, safety will always be our top priority. Our goal is to save lives by investing to improve dangerous intersections.”

Statewide Safety Improvements

The Mansfield project is part of a broader initiative to enhance road safety across Ohio. Intersection-related crashes account for approximately 30 percent of all traffic deaths annually. In 2023, these crashes resulted in 362 fatalities, with 104 deaths already recorded this year. The state’s investment in roadway safety projects seeks to address these alarming statistics.

Roundabouts: A Proven Safety Measure

A significant portion of the $87 million investment will be dedicated to constructing 19 roundabouts. These circular intersections have been shown to significantly reduce the risk of deadly crashes. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), roundabouts lead to a 44 percent reduction in crashes and nearly a 90 percent reduction in serious and deadly crashes at two-way stop intersections. When replacing traffic signals, roundabouts have been found to reduce crashes by 48 percent and serious and deadly crashes by nearly 80 percent.

ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks highlighted the agency’s dedication to building and maintaining a safe transportation system. He also stressed the importance of responsible driving, saying, “ODOT’s mission includes building and maintaining a transportation system that is safe. It’s a responsibility we take very seriously. However, we also need drivers to do some very basic things like follow the speed limit, buckle up, drive sober, and above all pay attention.”

Extending the I-90 Lake Effect Corridor

In addition to intersection improvements, the Highway Safety Improvement funding will extend the I-90 Lake Effect Corridor’s variable speed limit zone. This initiative has already led to a 35 percent decrease in crashes along the corridor. Since 2017, ODOT has proactively lowered speed limits on digital signs along 12 miles of I-90 when dangerous snow squalls reduce visibility. Approximately $2.3 million in grant funding will extend this corridor an additional six miles west near the SR 306 interchange.

The Broader Impact of Road Safety Investments

The comprehensive approach to improving road safety in Ohio reflects a commitment to reducing traffic fatalities and serious injuries. By targeting high-risk areas and employing proven safety measures like roundabouts and variable speed limits, Ohio aims to create safer roads for all drivers.

These projects underscore the state’s proactive stance on road safety and its dedication to leveraging data-driven solutions to address dangerous intersections and corridors. The significant reduction in crashes attributed to roundabouts and variable speed limits highlights the effectiveness of these interventions.

Source: ODOT; Image: DALL-E 3

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