DARKE COUNTY — Darke County Engineer Jim Surber and representatives from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will meet with the public in an “open house” to discuss a controversial highway intersection.
The meeting to consider the U.S. Route 127/Kruckeberg Road intersection is scheduled for Jan. 24, 2017, at St. Clair Memorial Hall in Greenville from 6 to 8 p.m.
The intersection is under scrutiny for the number of accidents and deaths which have occurred there.
One recent incident in particular highlighted the perceived dangers at the juncture.
On August 2, 2016, Greenville teen Elias Burr was attempting to drive west across U.S. Route 127 on Kruckeberg Road when his vehicle was struck by a pickup truck traveling northbound. Burr, 16, died at the scene. Four others were injured, but survived.
An online petition on Change.org asked local government leaders, including Ohio Rep. Jim Buchy and Ohio Sen. Keith Faber, to have ODOT modify the intersection, creating a median to prevent traffic from crossing 127 from Kruckeberg and Russ Roads. More than 1,700 people have signed the petition.
A report from the Ohio State Highway Patrol showed there were three fatalities and 11 injuries at or near the intersection in question from 2011 to 2016. ODOT reports a total of 45 crashes were at the intersection between 2011 and 2015, with two of these crashes resulting in fatalities.
Surber had previously met with an ODOT representative December 1 regarding the intersection.
ODOT has commissioned a safety study to identify measures to improve the safety and operation of the intersection.
The open house will present conceptual alternatives currently under consideration and to seek public input regarding concerns and potential improvements at this intersection.
The project team will provide a brief overview of the alternatives currently under consideration, followed by an opportunity for citizens to make public statements or ask questions.
ODOT is currently evaluating the following alternatives to improve the intersection safety:
• Do nothing
• Close Kruckeberg at U.S. 127, with no other improvements
• Close Kruckeberg at U.S. 127 and convert upgrade the U.S. 127/S.R. 121 interchange to a diamond interchange
• Install a median on U.S. 127 at Kruckeberg, to prevent the through movement on Kruckeberg and left-turn movements on all approaches
• Restricted Crossing U-Turn (RCUT)
• Partial Restricted Crossing U-Turn (RCUT)
ODOT estimates a U.S. 127/S.R. 121 Diamond Interchange would cost $4.5 million. The Restricted Crossing U-Turn cost is estimated at $500,000, white the Partial Restricted Crossing U-Turn (RCUT) would ring up at $800,000.
Citizens desiring to make public statements will be asked to limit their statements to less than three minutes. Following the public presentation and forum, citizens will be provided an opportunity to speak one-on-one with members of the project team.
Those unable to attend, but would like to provide comments or have questions, should contact ODOT Project Manageer Mary Hoy by phone at 937-497-6838, or email [email protected], or contact ODOT Environmental Coordinator Tricia Bishop by phone at 937-497-6721, or email [email protected].