McArthur Applies For Grant To Renovate Downtown Intersection

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Upon being named the 25th most accident prone intersection in the state, McArthur Council has taken measures to eventually revamp the Routes 50 and 93 intersection downtown.

There were 28 accidents between 2007 and 2011 at the intersection, including five that caused injuries, according to data from the Ohio Department of Transportation.

As a response, McArthur village council voted last week to send an application to ODOT for grant money to pay to renovate the intersection to make it safer. McArthur would not be committing any funds to the proposed project through this application.

Each year, ODOT releases a study of dangerous intersections, then analyzes them further to suggest safety measures for local governments to consider. In the case of this funding, federal roadway safety money is given to states to decide themselves which applications and projects to consider, ODOT's Tom Camden told council.

While council declined to commit any "matching" funds to grant money received, which could have made the application "more attractive" to ODOT appropriators, the intersection's accident history may be enough for the state to act, ODOT's Eric Davis said.

Davis added that although the funding would come from the state, McArthur would have autonomy over the project.

"It would have to meet ODOT's standards, but (McArthur) would have power over the design," he said.

Mayor James Wooddell gave his support to trying to reconstruct the intersection.

"I think this would be the best thing for the village," he said. "I can't think of any reason not to pursue it."

Councilman Dana Peters suggested having a public meeting for citizens and businesses near the intersection to give their input on any design proposals. Wooddell said he welcomes hearing those perspectives but that improving safety would likely be a higher priority.

The application deadline is April 30 with the approval process taking place the following month. If McArthur's application is declined, council could eventually vote to send in a new application for the next grant cycle guaranteeing a small match to any funding to better their chances.

All members but councilman Paul Miller, who abstained, voted to craft the application with ODOT over the coming months.