U.S. 33/state Route 4
Accidents mount as officials plead for patience
In the past three weeks, emergency crews have responded to five vehicle accidents in the area of construction on the state Route 4 bridge over U.S. Route 33.
"A couple of crashes were angle collisions," Marysville Police Chief Floyd Golden said.
He said one impatient motorist drove on the birm of the road on state Route 4, trying to get around a line of traffic. When he cut back into the line, he did not realize there was another car he needed to pass.
He hit the back of that car and knocked it into the other lane, Golden said.
"Youve got an impatient driver not driving responsibly," he said. "Luckily, no one was injured in that accident."
Patience is what Marysville city officials are asking drivers to use when driving through construction zones.
"In all these areas, there are signs leading in from all directions that say construction ahead, reduce speed, or something along those lines," City Administrator Terry Emery said. "There are just a lot of people that dont pay attention to that when they enter into these areas."
The Route 4 bridge work is actually a state project. The Ohio Department of Transportation is in charge of the $1.6-million project to replace and widen the bridge deck over Route 33 to include a sidewalk.
"People need to understand, they complain to us but that project going on here for several more months is ODOT-related," Emery said.
This is why the city stays in constant contact with ODOT, he said.
"When theyre in and out of your community, youre communicating with them quite a bit anyway. So as these things occur, youre always talking to them about how you can make things a little better or what they can do or consider."
Nancy Burton, ODOT Public Communications Manager, said the ODOT project manager meets and/or talks with Union County and Marysville officials to discuss any issues and concerns every week, sometimes more.
Emery said ODOT has been very open in listening to the citys concerns and, in fact, has made adjustments along the way.
Burton said there are plans in the works to continuously try to make the area safer.
These include installing 40 MPH speed limit signs, black-on-orange signs in an effort to slow motorists down, especially those exiting US Route 33 to state Route 4 north.
ODOT will reconfigure the U.S. Route 33 west to state Route 4 north exit to force drivers to proceed to the stop sign and turn right for north or left to Route 4 south. This will help eliminate exiting U.S. Route 33 at interstate speeds onto a state route.
"We will feel this will also help slow drivers down," Burton said.
Golden said drivers are required to travel at speeds that are reasonable for conditions.
"Even if it is 55 MPH and there is snow and ice, 55 MPH would not be reasonable," he said. "If you drive in a construction zone, everyone needs to drive whats reasonable for the conditions."
Golden wants drivers to take the people working on the project into consideration.
"People need to drive slowly through there. Those peoples lives are at stake. They should be able to do the work and not get run over," he said.
Emery stressed that drivers need to stay focused and proceed cautiously.
"Part of the reason you do projects is to make things much better than what theyve been. The unfortunate thing is you have to go through the construction to make it much, much better," he said. "So patience by people in the area is huge."