Police working on signals upgrades

COLUMBIANA – The city police department is working to get traffic signal upgrades at a high-traffic intersection that has been the site of many accidents over the years.

Police Chief Tim Gladis said Dallis Dawson and Associates (DD&A) in East Liverpool has volunteered to study the state Route 7 and state Route 14 intersection and submit a grant request to the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT).

“This is a project that has been needing attention for a while In the summertime that is an extremely high-traffic area, traffic gets backed up. It’s one of our busiest intersections as far as traffic crash frequencies,” he said.

The intersection is between the Valero gas station and 7&14 truck stop, not far from the Prima Health Care facility.

Gladis said the accidents could be avoided through upgrades to the already existing traffic signal and the addition of turning lanes, he said.

He explained that the current signal is only a stop-and-go signal, with motorists left to maneuver turns on their own.

“Cars, especially on state Route 7 going north or south, will turn and cars going around them will turn into the path of oncoming traffic,” he said.

Exactly how many accidents have occurred there over the last year is unknown at this time, although DD&A is in the

process of requesting the figures from ODOT, he said.

Every time a traffic accident is reported they are submitted to ODOT and kept on record since the roads are state-owned.

“Those are state Routes so in terms of getting the money to do it you have to convince ODOT there is enough of an accident frequency to determine it is a priority type of project,” he said.

If ODOT determines the project is necessary, the next step is to determine if there is enough money to cover the 20 percent match required by the grant, he said.

A cost estimate of the project won’t be available until later.

Should the project move forward the upgrades would take place between July 2014 and June 2015, Gladis said.

The police department is also looking into a $30,000 justice assistant grant.

If awarded, the money would be used to replace the “antiquated and very bulky computer network” at the police department, he said.