East State Street Interchange Improvements To Break Ground In 2016

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The Route 33 and East State Street interchange improvements project is expected to move forward with construction in 2016 and a completion date in 2017, according to Athens city officials.

On Monday, Athens City Councilwoman Michele Papai said that some city officials met with representatives from the Ohio Department of Transportation to discuss moving forward with the project, which would focus on the stretch of East State Street between Home Street and Charles Street. The project will incorporate a diverging diamond interchange, which would have motorists cross into the opposite lane of traffic to allow more vehicles to flow through the intersection in a given time period.

ODOT studied the interchange between the years 2010-2012.

“There were 74 reported crashes within this three-year period — 50 percent of those reported crashes were rear end crashes, 22 percent were due to vehicles failing to yield. The results suggest that there are safety and operational issues at the interchange,” according to information provided by the city.

In addition to the diverging diamond traffic pattern, the project will expand beyond Charles Street to restrict left-hand turns, according to Papai. A sidewalk will also be incorporated on the south side of the street to enhance pedestrian safety.

The total project is expected to cost $5,748,000 of which $3.4 million would be for construction of the diverging diamond. Much of the project is anticipated to be paid for with grants.