WILMINGTON — Though it may not be possible in geometry to square a circle, in civil engineering it is doable to make a roadway curve less curving and that’s a key part of a safety improvement project on Antioch Road this year.
“This is one that I’ve seen for 30, 40 years that we would like to straighten this curve out. We’ve had accidents; we’ve done a lot of signage and things to try to make it better, but in the long run this will make it really safe,” Clinton County Engineer Jeff Linkous told commissioners this week.
The realignment project is in the area of Fife Road, which is the first road a southeast-bound motorist on Antioch Road comes to after getting off State Route 73. An Antioch Road curve located just north of where the road joins Fife Road will be improved in the project.
A hill will be pared down, as well, Linkous told commissioners.
“We’re moving that road [Antioch] a little bit to the east, just straightening it [road] out a little bit,” said the engineer.
The project will involve seven property owners along the Antioch Road right-of-way. The project currently is in that part of the negotiating process.
The project is due to be bid out this summer, with work on the road expected to begin about fall.
Federal tax dollars will help pay for the project, Linkous said.
Following the engineer’s report on the upcoming road improvement safety project, Clinton County Commissioner Kerry R. Steed brought up the area where the Routes 22 and 3 West highway is intersected by Creek Road to the south and State Route 380 to the north. He suggested the site be targeted for a future safety project.
Elaborating, Steed said it’s an intersection that is traveled heavily by school buses, by school children being driven by parents, and by some of the teenage students themselves driving. He added he has witnessed a number of traffic accidents there.
Linkous said the engineer’s office already is looking at it, and he also noted two of the three roads involved are state routes. As a result, he said it would probably be more likely that the state would lead any project there. But because Creek Road is a county road and is part of the intersection, the county engineer’s office is involved, too.
The county engineer’s office has previously reached out to the ODOT (Ohio Department of Transportation) district deputy director a couple times about the location, said Linkous.
The intersection may not show up higher on the ODOT district-wide list for accidents, he said. But because it’s in Clinton County, the Clinton County Engineer’s Office will still push it and still talk to district officials about it “because we see the issues that you’ve [Steed] seen, and there have been some accidents there,” Linkous said.
“Yes, we have talked with them, tried to get them at least to look at that. It may not be on their five-year list, but I think if we continue to work with them — we don’t want to have more accidents there. So we’ll keep working with them to have a look at that location,” added the engineer.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.