Today
72°
Partly Sunny
10%
Tonight
54°
Mostly Clear
10%
Tomorrow
80°
Mostly Sunny
6%
Tomorrow Night
68°
Slight Chance Thunderstorms
24%
Thursday
84°
Chance Thunderstorms
43%
Thursday Night
70°
Chance Thunderstorms
42%
Friday
83°
Chance Thunderstorms
47%
Friday Night
69°
Chance Thunderstorms
50%
Saturday
82°
Chance Thunderstorms
34%
Saturday Night
65°
Partly Cloudy
10%
Sunday
82°
Partly Sunny
10%
Sunday Night
64°
Partly Cloudy
19%
3 Day
Extended
Wednesday, September 6th, 2006

Minster gets a chance to shine

By Margie Wuebker
MINSTER - It appears the Ohio Department of Transportation has finally heard the community's message - the village needs a traffic light at the busy intersection of state routes 66/119 and Bensman Road.
Village Administrator Don Harrod told Minster councilors Tuesday night ODOT has agreed to placement of a traffic light there if the village picks up the entire design and construction tab.
This would involve installation of turn lanes on state Route 119 and Bensman Road, with the exception of the top 3 inches of asphalt, which ODOT will provide. The tab also includes purchase, installation and maintenance of the traffic lights.
"Basically, we have to pick up the cost, and they will issue a permit for the traffic light," Harrod said. "Getting a light out there has been an issue for a long time."
Village officials submitted requests in 2003 and earlier this spring, both of which were turned down because ODOT warrants or requirements were not satisfied.
The latest traffic count on May 10 indicated more than 9,300 vehicles passed through the intersection during an eight-hour period from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The numbers showed a dramatic increase from a previous count conducted in June 2003.
The application also included information regarding accidents at the site, including a fatal crash that claimed the life of a Minster woman on May 11. Her car was struck by a vehicle that failed to stop at a stop sign.
ODOT subsequently labeled the crashes there as low incidence, adding there have been six in a period ranging from Jan. 1, 2000, and Dec. 31, 2005.
"The recent fatal crash appears to be alcohol and/or drug related in which the at-fault driver ran the posted stop sign," ODOT traffic engineer Craig Eley wrote in the letter village officials received Sept. 1. "The installation of a traffic signal at this location may reduce crash severity, but increase the overall crash frequency."
Based on the addition of right turn lanes on both approaches of state Route 119 and Bensman Road, Eley said a permit would be issued once the work is completed. He added the turn lanes would ensure the safest and most efficient operation of the signal while providing as little undue delay to state Route 66 traffic as possible.
There is a left turn lane already on state Route 66 for traffic wishing to turn onto state Route 119.
Harrod credited persistence on behalf of area residents and the assistance of State Sen. Jim Jordan in stressing the need to highway department officials.
"This has been a major focal point for people living in the area," he added. "They were quite vocal, and ODOT stepped up to the plate as well."
Design work must come first and councilors joked aloud whether Choice One Engineering, Sidney, would donate its services. Company representative Brian Barhorst smiled but said nothing.
Harrod is not sure how much the project will cost as this point. While expediency is a prime concern, he added one problem may be the approach of winter. If poles or crossarms for the lights were ordered today, the anticipated delivery could be 10 to 12 weeks.
"I would like to see the light up here right now," he added. "But it might not happen before winter."
Additional online stories on this date
Four people face multiple drug-related charges in the wake of an undercover investigation by the Grand Lake Drug Task Force. The ongoing investigation began last fall. [More]
NEW BREMEN - The New Bremen Cardinals evened their season mark at 3-3 overall with a three-game win over Auglaize County rival St. Marys on Tuesday at Cardinal Gymnasium. [More]
Subscriber only stories on this date
Love stronger than nature's frailties
Cooper Farms shows continued growth
Design plans advance for sewer separation
Rockford council seeks funds from Community Development Block Grant
Storm sewers to be repaired
Laurels may hook into town's water system
Wandering county home resident found on Main street in Celina
Blues may be coming to town
Local bank offices getting new name
Flyers survive threat from Tigers
If you are 2-0, feel good about your shot for postseason
St. Marys scores early and shuts out Defiance
Coldwater coasts to three-game win over Wapak