FREDERICKTOWN — Summer is the time for road construction, and marking off work areas are the familiar orange traffic barrels. The Ohio 13 bypass around Fredericktown has just been topped with fresh asphalt, and the roadway was lined with the barrels.
Driving through the maze of cones that shift traffic back and fourth between lanes as construction progresses can sometimes be problematic.
“A one-lane track on a four lane can cause some confusion, and exit ramps may be shortened from the long entrance and exits,” said ODOT inspector Lynn Rowe, who worked on the project.
A survey of local law enforcement, fire and EMS drivers, and citizen drivers, however, turned up no concerns about driving through the lanes.
“There have been no concerns from the drivers of fire equipment, and I have not heard of any incidents,” said Fredericktown Fire Chief Scott Mast.
Ken Lybarger, a Fredericktown emergency medical services paramedic, said the barrels were “No problem.” Lt. Chad McGinty, commander at the Ohio State Highway Patrol Post in Mount Gilead, said there have been no accidents or even any complaints about the placement of the barrels. The concensus of opinion, echoed by McGinty, is for drivers to slow down as they drive through the maze.
Erica Blanchard, a clerk at the service station at the Ohio 95 and Ohio 13 interchange, said she has heard no complaints from drivers. Two drivers, Lonnie Strickland and Ken Shafer, who drive the bypass every day, have also said there have been no problems; Rowe added that he has had no complaints from drivers.
By Tuesday afternoon the paving was completed, and Kokosing Construction crews were putting down berms along the outside lanes. Traffic was directed to the inside lane with long entrance and exit lanes outlined by the barrels, and a line of barrels separating the lanes. The lanes will be shifted so crews can complete the berms on the inside lane.
On some projects, Rowe said, plans call for slower speeds through construction zones, but none were on the plans for the bypass paving. Because there are no white edge lines, barrels will be placed along edge of the inside lane until the lines are painted. Rowe said the work should be completed by Thursday and the road re-opened.