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Two people died at the same intersection in two months. What should ODOT do?

Posted at 12:28 AM, Feb 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-15 01:25:30-05

UNION TOWNSHIP, Ohio — The intersection of State Route 32 and Interstate 275 saw two fatal crashes in as many months, ending 2018 with one death and beginning 2019 with another.

It’s easy to be caught off guard there, longtime residents said.

“There's a lot of different roads that merge on right before that traffic light,” Susan Johnson said. “It’s just very dangerous. There’s just so many lanes coming onto 275 at that point.”

Both recent crashes involved several cars. Eighty-six-year-old Martha Black died Jan. 6 after driving into the back of another car, which struck a third from behind.

On Dec. 18, the victim’s vehicle was among five that collided early that morning.

The Ohio Department of Transportation began analyzing possible fixes for the area in August 2018, before either one, but the most apparent solution — building on- and off-ramps — would cost $40 million to implement and has yet to be approved.

The only concrete change by Thursday night was signage warning drivers of congested traffic ahead.

The overall study remained incomplete.

Depending on its findings, ODOT could choose to build new ramps, redo some lanes, change the timing of lights or pursue other safety measures.