MOUNT VERNON — The traffic lights aren’t leaving Coshocton Avenue.
During initial planning for the widening and safety projects along Coshocton Avenue, it was determined the traffic signals at Eastgate Drive and in front of Tractor Supply Co. would be removed. During a public meeting recently, many residents voiced their concerns about that to officials from Mount Vernon and the Ohio Department of Transportation, and, after officials communicated with the Federal Highway Administration, the signals will stay.
Mount Vernon will have to pay for the rebuilding of the signal and poles at Eastgate and for any updates to the signal at TSC, according to city officials. That is estimated to cost between $100,000 and $120,000.
In the project, which is scheduled to begin in 2012, there will also be a signal placed at Brown Street and traffic patterns will be updated there. Traffic coming west on Coshocton Avenue will have to stop prior to Brown Street in an effort to make that a three-light phase with Sychar Road.
These signals will be then be coordinated with the rest on Coshocton Avenue from Sychar Road to Upper Gilchrist Road in an effort to ease the flow of traffic, according to City Engineer Cameron Keaton.
Keaton and City Safety-Service Director Dave Glass met with officials from ODOT this week in an effort to discuss and clarify some of the concerns brought from the earlier meeting with the public. They said there were also concerns about drainage and the number of trees that would be removed for the project, but the major concern was the two traffic signals. Keaton said any person who had responded with concerns and had given their address would be notified of the changes via a letter from the officials.
Glass said that right-of-way acquisitions for the project would begin this summer.
Keaton also said the sidewalk, which is part of the project, would not be placed on the north side of Coshocton Avenue from Shalimar Drive to Vernonview. Walkers would be directed to cross the street at Vernedale Drive to walk the south side of the street to Vernonview. He said that is because of Adams Run and the culverts in front of the Mount Vernon Shopping Plaza.