by Sylvania AdVantage Staff

The public shared its opinions about the proposed changes to the Monroe Street-Silica Drive intersection at an open house on Nov. 18.
The project proposes to increase capacity and reduce congestion by implementing a roundabout or by installing an upgraded traffic signal with additional turning lanes. In addition, a second eastbound lane of traffic is proposed for Monroe Street between Silica Drive and Main Street. The proposed intersection widening project would add an eastbound through/right turn lane and a dedicated left turn lane for northbound traffic.
The roundabout option would create two through lanes of traffic for both Monroe legs with the inside lane also available for left turn movements. The northbound Silica approach would have a right turn slip lane and a single through/left turn lane. The Judi Young Road approach would have one single lane for all movements. The project is in the preliminary design phase.
While the intersection widening proposal is about $500,000 less expensive, the long term operating costs would be greater, according to Joe Shaw, deputy director of the Sylvania Public Service Department. According to the traffic study, traffic engineers cited the safety benefits of a roundabout alternative when compared to a signalized intersection.
“They are also a good way to calm traffic,” offered Kevin Aller, director of Sylvania Public Service Department.
Shaw agreed but added that “many people have strong feelings about roundabouts. They either really love them or have many concerns about them.”
“There is enough right-of-way available along both sides of Monroe Street for the additional eastbound lane of traffic between Silica Drive and Main Street,” Shaw pointed out. “However, the school parking lot at the southwest corner of the intersection will be impacted regardless of the intersection improvement selected.”
“We were the recipient of an ODOT Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Grant, which would cover $2.37 million for the estimated $3.65 million project,” Shaw added.
In addition, the city was notified in October that its $1.2 million grant request to replace the Silica Drive bridge over Ten Mile Creek as a part of the Ohio Municipal Bridge Program was successful. This bridge was constructed in 1938 as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project with the total replacement cost anticipated to be $1.5 million. As a result, the city will be pursuing combining the bridge replacement and intersection improvement projects into one construction project.
Construction for both projects is scheduled for 2023.