Truck lane on Route 30 could be coming soon

Planning is underway to add a truck lane on U.S. Route 30 going west up Canton Hill. (Salem News photo by Tom Giambroni)

LISBON — Plans to add a truck lane on U.S. Route 30 going west up Canton Hill could happen sooner rather than later following action taken this week by the county organization created to revive the U.S. Route 30 project.

The Columbiana County Transportation Improvement District board voted Thursday to seek a $250,000 grant available to TIDs through the Ohio Department of Transportation. The grant would be used as the county’s contribution to the $2.5 million project, with ODOT paying the rest of the estimated cost.

County Engineer Bert Dawson, who serves on the TID board, said a truck lane on U.S. 30 going up Canton Hill out of Lisbon has been needed for as long as he can remember, and Dawson has been engineer since 1969.

“It’s been a long-standing problem that should have been addressed years ago,” he said. “Everyone knows if your in a car behind a truck going up Canton Hill you’ll probably have to follow it all the way to Minerva.”

U.S. 30 is two-lane through the county, and TID was created about five years to help revive plans to turn it into a four-lane highway. The latest price tag is close to $1 billion, so several years ago ODOT proposed making spot improvements while trying to fund the project.

One of three spot improvements include adding a truck lane going up Canton Hill. Dawson said if TID is awarded the $250,000 grant it will be put toward the project, which may include reducing the severity of the curve at the top of Canton Hill at Wayne Bridge Road.

“I’d like to see that incorporated into the project,” Dawson said.

Two other ODOT spot improvements to U.S. 30 are expected to get underway in 2020. One will make improvements to the intersection at Jackson Street/U.S. 30 and

state Route 154 by Carter Lumber in Lisbon. It includes minor roadway widening and a new traffic light with a left turn signal for motorists heading west into town on SR 154 who want to turn south on Jackson Street/U.S. 30.

The other spot improvement project to get underway next year is elimination of the dangerous curve on U.S. 30 between Yair and Richey School roads in Hanover Township. The $2.3 million project calls for partial relocation of the 0.6 mile stretch of road to reduce the severity of the curve. The engineering and design work is completed, and ODOT is in the process of acquiring the right of ways. Bids are to be sought in September, with work scheduled to begin in 2020.

Elimination of several other dangerous curves that exist along the 6.5 mile section of U.S. 30 between Hanoverton and the state Route 172 intersection are also on the list of spot improvements.