Intersection to get facelift

HOWLAND — Work to improve a dangerous intersection here won’t get underway until 2018, but the Trumbull County Engineer’s Office now is asking for public comment.

Letters from Engineer Randy Smith are going out to property owners and affected public service officials for the project to upgrade the intersection of North and North River roads, which has since 2012, had 23 vehicle accidents, including one fatal crash in 2013.

“The intent of this letter is to inform … and to solicit comments about the proposed project,” Smith said.

The proposal is to construct left-turn lanes at all four approaches to the intersection to meet Ohio Department of Transportation standards. Other improvements would be made to traffic signals, pavement and drainage. The construction limits extend about 200 feet in each direction of the intersection, Smith said.

The County Engineer’s Association of Ohio is providing 80 percent of the $437,000 cost for the project, said Gary Shaffer, deputy engineer. The office procured another $115,000 in federal dollars for engineering through the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, a local metropolitan planning organization.

In the last five years, 23 crashes happened at the intersection, including one fatal accident in 2013, according to information from the engineer’s office. The high mark was 2015, which had nine crashes, followed by six in 2014. In 2012, there were three crashes; 2013, 4 crashes; and in 2016, one accident.

“Sometimes you play chicken getting through that intersection. We will realign it and put all four left turn lanes in to make it safer,” Shaffer said.

During construction, Smith said at least one lane of traffic will be maintained at all times on both roads, but one lane on both will be closed for up to 60 days for the work to be done, Smith said.

All construction, lane closure and detour information will be posted along the roads before construction starts, Smith said. Access to all properties within the construction limits will be maintained at all times, Smith said.