Wednesday, February 13th, 2008
By William Kincaid
Deputies to enforce new speed limits at 5 sites
  Mercer County Sheriff's deputies will be enforcing new speed limits on some county roads now that the Ohio Department of Transportation approved five speed reductions.
Mercer County Engineer Jim Wiechart originally requested speed reductions at 11 different routes in November. In late January, ODOT Director James Beasley approved five of the 11 requests.
"In my opinion, the ones they agreed with were the ones that needed it the most," Wiechart said Tuesday afternoon.
Wiechart said within the next month, new speed limit signs should be posted along the five routes, and once the new signs are posted, enforcement will begin.
The speed reductions are at:
• Mercer Road - from 55 mph to 50 mph between U.S. 33 and U.S. 127 (.43 mile), where the average daily traffic is 504 vehicles.
• Union City Road - from 55 mph to 45 mph for a .66-mile section from Barger Road to the Fort Recovery corporation limit. The average daily traffic is 997 vehicles.
• Sharpsburg Road - from 55 mph to 45 mph from Watkins Road to Wourms Road (through Sharpsburg), where the average traffic count is 695 vehicles.
• Johnston Road - from 55 mph to 40 mph at a 3/4-mile section from U.S. 127 to Coldwater Creek Road, where the average daily traffic count is 213 vehicles.
• Fort Recovery-Minster Road - from 55 mph to 45 mph from Post Road to the Wendelin area, where the average traffic count is 543 vehicles daily.
Wiechart said a traffic engineering study was completed because many areas of the county are at the point of development where a reduction of speed needed to be justified.
He also said the county has received public requests for lowered speed limits in those areas. The last time a speed reduction of this magnitude in unincorporated areas occurred was around 1996, he added.
In the spring of 2007, Count Electronics of Uhrichsville was contracted to conduct speed zone traffic studies at 27 locations throughout the county. The completed study determined 11 locations merited a reduction in legal speed.
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