New traffic lights set in place

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Workers install new traffic light poles at the intersection of East Fifth Street and Colemans Crossing Boulevard this week. Marysville Public Service Director Mike Andrako said he hopes to have the light installed by the end of the week.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Will Channell)
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As the year wraps up, so do a few traffic projects around Marysville.
That includes new traffic signals at the intersection of Colemans Crossing Boulevard and East Fifth Street.
Marysville Public Service Director Mike Andrako said he plans to have the new signals flashing by the end of this week. Those lights will stay flashing for 10 days, and will get residents acclimated to having a traffic signal there.
“That’s typically required when you have a new traffic signal,” Andrako said. “People aren’t used to having a traffic signal there.”
After that, the signals will start functioning normally.
The initial idea came from concerns from people coming out of the YMCA and Harold Lewis Center who had trouble exiting onto Colemans Crossing. Drivers have also said it’s difficult to access that entrance from the eastbound lane as well.
As a result of those complaints, officials conducted traffic studies at the intersection.
“We have to look at turning movements, peak hourly volume and then average daily traffic,” Andrako said.
The East Fifth Street and Colemans Crossing intersection, Andrako said, met the criteria for a traffic signal.
“What I have to explain to people is that at peak times, while a traffic signal may help, in off peak times, it actually causes a lot of delay,” Andrako said.
Fortunately, Andrako said East Fifth Street and Colemans Crossing intersection stays relatively busy throughout the day, so the traffic signal should mainly provide relief.
He said Charles Lane and East Fifth Street should “really benefit” from the signal. He said officials will be able to sync the new signal with the westbound signal at Delaware Avenue to prevent backup.
Andrako said officials considered a roundabout for the intersection “a long time ago,” but decided against it. He said roundabouts needs more land, which would cause complications.
“We would have to acquire right of way,” he said.
Another problem, he said, is roundabouts require much greater upfront cost than a traffic light. While the current project altogether costs about $250,000, Andrako said a roundabout could have cost nearly five times that.
“The traffic signal just made a lot of sense,” Andrako said.
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The first phase of the Route 31 widening project is finishing as well. There are traffic signals being installed in the area of Cook’s Pointe Boulevard, after which work on Route 31 will be finished until phase two.
“Then we’ll just have to go through seeding and different items in the spring to make sure everything is complete and looks good,” Andrako said.
As for Cook’s Pointe Boulevard, officials hope to open that after those new lights are installed, hopefully by the end of the year.
“We can’t open Cook’s Pointe until it has a traffic signal for westbound approaching traffic,” Andrako said. “Right now there’s nothing.”
Andrako said all of these projects have gone smoothly. For the Colemans Crossing traffic signals and Route 31 work, getting the poles made and shipped to Marysville took time, but overall the process went off without a hitch.
“Now that they’re in (on Route 31), they’re starting to go up, too,” Andrako said.
The second phase of the Route 31 project is scheduled for 2020. That phase will include a connection from Northwoods Drive to Route 31 and changes to the U.S. 33 off ramp to Route 31.
Andrako said he hopes to stay on schedule for that project.
“That depends on how everything goes,” Andrako said. “We’re kind of early in the design process.”



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