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Overpass traffic flow concerns Fairfield Township trustees

September 6, 2012
By LARRY SHIELDS - Staff Writer ( , Salem News

FAIRFIELD TOWNSHIP - Trustees are unhappy and concerned with the way the Ohio Department of Transportation has arranged traffic flow management on the overpass at the state Route 344-state Route 11 interchange.

Trustee Barry Miner brought the issue up during Wednesday's meeting almost immediately prompting a comment by Trustee Chairman Bob Hum, "It's a mess out there" and Road Supervisor Denny Farmer's even quicker, "Yes" in agreeing with Hum.

Miner pointed out the the project will take about a year the the section, already prone to accidents because there is no speed reduction through it, produced a "serious accident" on Sunday morning that resulted in a life-flight helicopter being summoned to the scene.

Miner asked trustees to draft a letter to be sent to ODOT District 11 noting "there is a history of accidents in this area" and "there is an enormous amount of traffic barrels which restrict site distance exiting and entering state Route 11."

The orange and white reflective barrels and pylons creates confusion for motorists attempting to slow down to turn from state Route 344 onto either the northbound or southbound lanes of state Route 11.

Miner said ODOT directed the contractor to install overhead illumination which was is operating and explained that Sunday's accident happened when a westbound car on state Route 344 turning onto the southbound lane of state Route 11 collided with a car that was eastbound on state Route 344.

With the duration of the project "We are gravely concerned that accidents will continue to occur," the draft letter said.

"We would like to see traffic lights installed to have a controlled traffic pattern in this area. We would like ODOT to conduct a review of the current traffic zone that is currently in place in this area."

Miner also pointed out there are overhead street lights that aren't working there.

"There are safety issues," he said, "with all the barrels there, it's hard to see where to turn."

In other business, trustees approved a contract with Kelchner Excavating to take out a 40-foot, 60-inch culvert on Crestview Road that Chesapeake Energy will pay half the $12,032 cost for.

The contract is part of an amended road use management agreement (RUMA).

Last month, Miner said Chesapeake will pay half the cost and suggested since there won't be settling issues "as quickly as this will go in" that they purchase the concrete culvert.

Trustee Chairman Bob Hum agreed saying it was stronger.

Chesapeake requested proof of the invoice from Kelchner Excavating to the township before it paid its half.

The contract includes copies of liability insurance and the township will provide traffic control signs at the ends of the project and the contractor will provide barricades at the project site.



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