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Fatal Crash on U.S. 22 in Harrison County Prompts ODOT To Evaluate Stretch of Highway

A fatal crash along U.S. Route 22 between Cadiz and Hopedale prompted the Ohio Department of Transportation to take another look at the roadway to evaluate ways to make it safer for travel.

In the past year there have been numerous crashes, two of which resulted in fatalities, on the 3-mile stretch of roadway. The most recent fatality occurred in February when a 73-year-old woman was pronounced dead at the scene following a multi-vehicle accident. The woman was attempting to turn south onto Harrison County Road 13 when her vehicle was struck from behind by another vehicle. Her vehicle was pushed into oncoming traffic, where she was struck by a second vehicle traveling east on U.S. Route 22.

ODOT held its monthly safety review meeting earlier this week where the department reviews fatal crashes and discusses possible safety improvements that can be made to the roadways based on crash data received by the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Lauren Borrell, spokeswoman for ODOT District 11, said ODOT discussed ways to improve safety on Route 22. The department has seen an increase in traffic accidents during the past three years on the portion of road between Cadiz and Hopedale, she said.

It can be a tricky stretch of road — traffic in both directions goes from traveling on a four-lane, divided highway down to two lanes, with several intersections along the way.

Borrell did not specify a potential reason for the increase in crashes, but she said there do not seem to be any sight restrictions on the roadway.

“One thing ODOT looks into when it comes to the intersection is ensuring there is good sight distance in each direction, the signage is correct and pavement markings are well marked. In this particular intersection, there is good sight distance and correct signage so we’re enhancing the signs to get people’s attention more,” she said.

Borrell said ODOT is planning to make some changes in the near future that will help with road safety. To start, ODOT plans to install new crossroad warning signs with LED lights on the east- and west-bound lanes of the intersection of Route 22 and county Road 13. She said there are currently signs in place, but the new signs will have lights to allow them to be more visible to motorists.

Borrell said ODOT is looking to add centerline rumble strips on the two-lane section of Route 22, and a left-hand turn lane at the intersection. There is no set timeline for either project.

“We’re looking at two to three years because we still have to scope the project, which includes estimates, planning and environmental studies,” she said.

ODOT reminds motorists to follow the posted speed limit, focus on the roadway and drive without distractions. Borrell said speeding is typically one of the main factors in fatal accidents and urged residents to slow down and obey the speed limit.

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