By SHELLEY TERRY - email@example.com
ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — Motorists who frequent the shopping corridor of North Ridge East, from Route 11 to Cook Road, soon will see orange barrels and work crews.
The Ohio Department of Transportation is in the early stages of the $6.5 million resurfacing project that will include additional lanes, drainage repairs and sidewalk improvements.
The project is expected to go out to bid in May 2014, said Justin Chesnic, public information officer for ODOT District 4 in Akron.
“There is a section from Ridgewood Road to Cook Road that will be widened from four lanes to five lanes,” he said. “The widening is for a two-way left turn lane.”
This section of Route 20 ranks in the top 200 locations in the state (No. 75 in 2002 and No. 21 in 2009) for crash rate, ODOT states. Crashes are predominately related to turning vehicles. These crashes mostly include angle crashes related to driveways, rear end and passing side swipes related to left turning vehicles blocking the center lanes, ODOT reports.
“Providing left turn lanes at the signalized intersection will improve safety by aligning the left turn lanes so opposing traffic does not block the view of oncoming traffic,” ODOT’s 2010 study of the road states. “The purpose of this project is to improve motorist and pedestrian safety.”
In addition, two business will have total right-of-way takes, Chesnic said.
They are: M&R Trailer Sales, 3521 N. Ridge E., and Top Nails, 3508 N. Ridge E., Ashtabula.
“We are currently in the right-of-way acquisition phase of this project now,” Chesnic said.