MOUNT VERNON — Mount Vernon City Council approved two resolutions Monday night that move the city two steps closer to the construction of a connector road between Coshocton Avenue and Yauger Road that is expected to alleviate traffic problems at the city’s most dangerous intersection.
Council approved the purchase of three parcels of land, amassing a total of 2.429 acres from Knox Community Hospital, Lowe’s and Opti Properties. The purchase price is about $400,000 and will include temporary and permanent rights of way and water drainage.
Council also opened the door for the city to bid out the road construction project which is estimated to cost about $1.3 million.
Mount Vernon City Engineer Cameron Keaton explained to council the two existing entrances to KCH will be used to anchor the road which will run between the KCH visitor’s parking lot and Lowe’s parking lot.
The entrance from Coshocton Road will be straighten to some degree and the slope will be less steep. A retaining wall will be built near the northeast corner of the Lowe’s parking lot to keep the structural integrity of the lot intact.
Street lights will be installed on the currently unnamed street but will be shorter than traditional street lights to accommodate for the hospital’s helipad.
Council members Jay Manners and Bruce Hawkins both inquired as to the need to develop the connector road and how it would affect traffic flow in the city.
“We are trying to create a better traffic plan for KCH and the CVS intersection (Vernonview Drive, Yauger Road and Cosocton Avenue),” said Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis. “Vernonview and Coshocton have the highest accident rate of any intersection in the city.”
Mavis said he hopes the connector road will bring traffic from Upper Gilchrist Road and into the center of the business district.
Changes at the Yauger Road intersection will include the removal of the eastern most entrance to Opticare Inc. which sits very close to the back entrance of KCH. The city is in talks with Ohio Heritage Bank to create an entrance to Opitcare from the bank’s back entrance. A traffic signal will also be installed at Yauger Road with KCH paying for half of the $150,000 price tag.