Swanton seeking Airport Hwy. improvements

By Drew Stambaugh - dstambaugh@aimmediamidwest.com

The Village of Swanton will seek improvements to make merging safer on Airport Highway west of Main Street.

The Village of Swanton will seek improvements to make merging safer on Airport Highway west of Main Street.

Drew Stambaugh | AIM Media Midwest

Swanton officials have met with the Ohio Department of Transportation in an effort to solve a pair of traffic issues on Airport Highway in the village.

The first problem area discussed at the May 24 Council meeting was the section of the street, west of Main Street, that merges from two lanes to one. There is no signage before Main Street indicating the merger and, according to Village Administrator Rosanna Hoelzle, when Airport Highway got new pavement markings the area to merge decreased by 163 feet.

One possible option is to have the right lane on Airport Highway east of Main Street become a right turn only lane. That would eliminate the need to merge.

“We have a lot of people who get in the left lane to get around people who are turning,” said Swanton Police Chief Adam Berg.

Before anything is done a study would be needed to show if there is support showing a change to the merging would work.

“We’re not saying that this is going to happen. I want to make that very clear,” said Hoelzle. “There’s a lot of steps to take before something like that could happen. But what we’re saying is that from this conversation it looks like it could be a feasible option.”

Berg and Hoelzle got the go-ahead from Council to continue looking for a solution to the issue.

The second problem spot is the intersection of Airport Highway and Munson Road. That area has been a point of contention for years, with area officials wanting improvements that ODOT says are not warranted.

The intersection is high on the list of projects in the Maumee Valley Planning Organizations long-term transportation plan.

Officials from that organization reached out to the village because ODOT has safety funding available. The soonest it would be available is fiscal year 2025.

“The benefit of that is it allows us to plan, and put into a capital improvement plan, if it would be something that the community wanted to do,” said Hoelzle.

Berg and Hoelzle met with ODOT and MVPO May 24 to discuss possible options.

There have been 12 crashes at the intersection in the last couple years. “I avoid that area altogether,” said Council member Kathy Kreuz.

After a previous traffic study, ODOT suggested a turn lane from eastbound Airport Highway onto Munson Road, and no traffic signals. “We’d really like to look at that again to see if this that’s proposed is still the most feasible option,” Hoelzle said.

The area can become especially congested and dangerous when high school students are driving to and from school. It’s possible the village couple supply drone footage of those back-ups to increase that chance for improvements.

The village could apply for funding as soon as Sept. 30.

The Council committee gave the go-ahead to apply, with Mike Rochelle saying it was long overdue to have something done at that intersection.

Swancreek Township Trustee Rick Kazmierczak was at the meeting, and said trustees would likely discuss splitting some of the cost on a new study for that intersection because it impacts so many township residents. The village and township had split the cost of the previous traffic study at the intersection.

Also at the meeting, Council approved entering into an agreement with Underground Utilities, Inc. on Monroeville, Ohio for the Project 8 and 9 sewer separation project. They had the low bid of $2,088,771. That was 14% below the engineer’s estimate, according to Hoelzle.

Other business

• Council agreed to apply for a NatureWorks grant through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. If selected, the money would go toward playground equipment at Memorial Park.

• Hoelzle reported that the upper parking lot at Memorial Park had been sealed and striped on May 21. She noted it is a not a long-term fix and more parking is desired.

• Mayor Neil Toeppe, a survivor himself, read a proclamation for Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

• Following an executive session, Kate Cleland was promoted to position of Fire Lieutenant, effective May 30.

• For the Safe Routes to School project, Smith Paving is tentatively scheduled to begin work in July, to be finished in early August. New sidewalks near the elementary and middle schools are among the items in the project.

The Village of Swanton will seek improvements to make merging safer on Airport Highway west of Main Street.
https://www.swantonenterprise.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2021/05/web1_airport-highway-merge.jpgThe Village of Swanton will seek improvements to make merging safer on Airport Highway west of Main Street. Drew Stambaugh | AIM Media Midwest

By Drew Stambaugh


Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010

Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010