Thursday, August 17, 2017
By Ed Runyan
Major changes are on the horizon for the state Route 46 corridor in Howland Township and two other nearby areas, especially the Route 46 and 82 interchange.
Gary Shaffer, deputy Trumbull County engineer, on Wednesday gave the county commissioners an update on five projects being formulated by the Ohio Department of Transportation and Trumbull County Engineer’s office in the coming decade.
First on the list is a solution to the accident-prone and congested routes 46 and 82 intersection, especially for drivers traveling north on Route 46 from the Eastwood Mall area and then west on state Route 82 toward Warren or Champion.
ODOT is planning a to use a fairly new idea, the “diverging diamond interchange,” at that location.
This configuration will cause motorists traveling north on 46 to move left and more easily into an exit lane for Route 82 west.
Diverging diamonds have become increasingly popular since the first one in the United States was opened in 2009, the engineer’s office says. There’s only one in Ohio. Construction is expected to begin in 2022.
The second project in the coming decade is to limit turning at the state Route 82-Howland Wilson Road intersection to right-only. The change is considered more acceptable to the public than outright removal of the intersection at Howland-Wilson, Shaffer said.
The third project area is a half-mile stretch of Route 46 between Route 82 and East Market Street at Howland Corners. The area gets backed up during morning, midday and afternoon peak hours.
Widening it to three lanes with additional left-turning lanes is expected to significantly reduce congestion, Shaffer said. Improvements to the Route 46 and East Market intersection are planned.
The fourth project is at Howland Springs Road at Route 46, which will be realigned to meet up with Kenyon Drive and make it easier for cars from Howland Springs and Kenyon Drive to enter Route 46.
The fifth project is a proposed interchange at state Route 11 and Niles-Vienna Road to provide an additional way to travel to and from the Eastwood Mall area.