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 was the improvement of Lovers Lane and Fort Steuben Drive involving the construction of a modern roundabout which opened in July 2017.
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 currently being purchased. Construction bids are expected to be received in July 2018 with work to begin in the spring of 2019.
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 $989,284 using their CMAQ funds and the City of Steubenville is funding the remaining cost ($359,292) using their street improvement funds and a $250,000 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.