Liberty Township is asking drivers on an increasingly busy stretch of road to slow down.

The speed limit on Steitz Road is expected to be reduced south of Home Road, pending the installation of new signs to that effect and formal approval from the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Township trustees voted 3-0 on Feb. 3 in favor of two separate reductions in the speed limit on the road in the township, between Rutherford and Home roads.

The new limit from Rutherford north to the southern boundary of the city of Powell will be 35 mph. From the northern boundary of that section of the city of Powell north to Home Road, the speed limit will be 45 mph.

When there is no marked speed limit, the default is 55 mph, township trustee Shyra Eichhorn said.

The recommended reductions came from the Delaware County Engineer's Office, which conducted a safety study of the road at the trustees' request, said Doug Reidel, senior project engineer with the engineer's office.

The portion of Steitz between Rutherford and Home that previously was annexed into Powell already is established at 35 mph, according to Delaware County engineer Chris Bauserman.

"Our study recommended that the speed limit on Steitz Road between Rutherford Road and the city of Powell also be established as 35 mph. We also recommended that the speed limit from the city limit north to Home Road be established at 45 mph," Bauserman said.

Trustee Mike Gemperline said the change was a good idea.

"It's a narrow road," he said. "This all used to be farm country, but no longer."

It's likely Steitz Road will see even more traffic when a new Delaware County District Library branch opens at the northwest corner of its intersection with Home Road.

Library officials hope the new library will open by summer 2021 as part of a development that will include 68 townhomes and apartments along with two 7,000-square-foot retail spaces.

Library director George Needham last year said the "easy access on and off of two major roads" was one reason the site was selected.

Speed limits on county and township roads are established by the Ohio Department of Transportation after the completion of a speed-limit study performed by a local government agency -- in this case, the engineer's office, Bauserman said.

"The resolution by the trustees making the requested changes will need to be forwarded to ODOT for their approval," he said.

Eichhorn said the new limits would be enforceable as soon as the township installs signs.

She could not say how long that process would take.

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