The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) in their ongoing highway safety program identified SR43 (Sunset Blvd) and Lovers Lane in their top 500 urban intersection crash locations in 2011. This location was ranked 45th of all urban intersections state wide. The ODOT District 11 office initiated a safety study of the intersection to identify deficiencies. The safety report was completed in June of 2013 with several recommendations including lengthening the eastbound SR43 left turn lane, adding right turn lanes on the eastbound and westbound SR43 approaches as well as the southbound Lovers Lane approach. Also recommended were straightening the realignment of SR43 through the intersection and modernizing the traffic signal. The total cost of the improvements is estimated to be $2.09 million.
The City of Steubenville is moving forward with the implementation of the safety study recommendations. This project is viewed as Phase Two of a series of phased improvements to Lovers Lane. Phase One is the improvement of Lovers Lane and Fort Steuben Drive involving the construction of a modern roundabout. Bids for constructing Phase One were received July 13, 2016. Shelly & Sands was awarded the contract.
Phase Two (SR43 and Lovers Lane) is currently in the design stage. Additional right of way needed for the widening on the eastbound approach is anticipated to be purchased in 2017. Construction is expected to begin after July 2018.
Funding for Phase Two is coming from several sources. The ODOT District 11 secured $1.0 million in Federal Highway Safety funding for the project. BHJ is contributing $782,732 and the City of Steubenville is funding the remaining cost ($306,794) using their street improvement funds and possibly securing a grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission.
Phase three will improve Lovers Lane from Fort Steuben Drive to SR43 (Sunset Blvd) by widening the roadway to provide a full 12 foot lane in each direction, reconstruct curbs, install sidewalks and improve drainage. No time schedule has been established for this phase.
Contact Dave Snelting, Transportation Study Director, for further information.
Below is an overall plan view of the proposed Phase Two improvements.