Hilliard officials say they hope modifications to the two Main Street roundabouts at Cemetery and Scioto Darby roads will reduce the rate of traffic accidents at both locations.

Those modifications are among several construction projects this summer in Hilliard.

Although a slight increase in minor accidents was anticipated after the Main Street roundabouts opened in 2011, those figures did not decrease as expected, said Letty Schamp, Hilliard's deputy engineer.

A report from the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission released in 2016 said the roundabout at Main Street and Cemetery Road had the most reported accidents in Hilliard, 233, from 2013 through 2015.

It was followed by Main Street and Scioto Darby Road, with 141 reported accidents in the same three-year span.

Documented crashes also were numerous in the years after the study.

According to the MORPC website, the Main and Cemetery roundabout had 81 reported crashes in 2016 and 98 in 2017. The Main and Scioto Darby roundabout had 38 reported crashes in 2016 and 47 in 2017, the website said.

Based on the 2016 report, Hilliard City Council in 2017 approved a $160,000 contract with Burgess & Niple, the same firm that engineered the roundabouts, to find ways to modify them to reduce the frequency of accidents.

"Our study shows a significant number of accidents can be contributed to a lack of understanding (of motorists) about the rules of the road," Schamp said in 2017.

In March, City Council approved a contract with Strawser Paving Co. for $544,000 to make modifications to both roundabouts.

Work began June 3 at Main Street and Scioto Darby Road, Schamp said, and will move later this summer to Main Street and Cemetery Road.

Modifications at Main and Scioto Darby include reshaping the central traffic island by installing temporary curbs, she said.

The traffic "islands" in the roundabout also will be modified.

More changes are planned at Main and Cemetery, including resurfacing, revised markings, overhead lane-control signs and "Yield to both lanes" signs, Schamp said.

The flashing LED-bordered yield signs will be placed in the center island, she said.

Work is scheduled to be completed by Aug. 15, Schamp said.

Construction also is underway on a $545,000 project to construct a new mast-arm signal at Cemetery and Lacon roads, replacing the cable-strung signal, Schamp said.

The project includes signal-system upgrades and fiber upgrades on Cemetery Road from Lacon Road west to Norwich Street, she said.

Except for the intermittent closure of one lane, the project is not expected to affect traffic flow and is scheduled to be finished by November, she said.

Meanwhile, a 12-month project to improve Franklin Street is expected to begin in August.

An ordinance authorizing the necessary funding for the Franklin Street project was introduced June 10 at the city-planning, projects and services committee. It was forwarded for a first reading at the July 8 council meeting.

The bid opening for the project is June 20 and the engineer's estimate is $2.38 million, said Albert Iosue, Hilliard's service director.

The project includes street reconstruction, sidewalks, street lights, on-street parking and stormwater and sanitary-sewer upgrades on Franklin Street.

Work is scheduled to begin in August and conclude in August 2020, Schamp said.

The project would be financed at $1.68 million in 2019 and $710,000 next year, Iosue said.

The final phase of improvements to Scioto Darby and Leppert roads also is planned this summer, beginning June 3 and expected to finish by July 3.

As part of the final phase, Scioto Darby Road between Moundview Road and Bradford Drive will close to through traffic from 5 a.m. Saturday, June 15, and 5 a.m. Monday, June 17.

Access to Roger A. Reynolds Municipal Park will be provided via a driveway west of Veterans Memorial Drive.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $7.95 million, according to David Ball, Hilliard's director of communications.

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