A safety study on road signage at curves was approved by Delaware County commissioners Monday.
“This is for analyzing the signage at curves on our public roads,” said county engineer Chris Bauserman. “You’ll note that on curve signs, there’s a curve arrow, and then there’s a placard below that states the advisory speed for vehicles to travel those curves. There is a science behind determining that speed.”
Recently, commissioners approved receiving a grant from the Highway Safety Improvement Program administered by the Ohio Department of Transportation to verify and/or update curve signs throughout the county. Commissioners approved a contract for Delaware-based MasterMind LLC to do the work for $38,400. Ninety percent of the cost is funded through the grant.
The last time the county undertook a similar study was 10 or 15 years ago, Bauserman said.
“You do it when you think enough has changed or enough time has passed where the results might be different than the last time you did it,” he said.
Although the physical location of a curve may not have changed over the course of a decade, paving or widening may have changed the curve’s elevation.
“We hope this wouldn’t happen but, if signs have been replaced, hopefully the right placard went back up,” Bauserman said.
There are two benefits to doing the study, he said.
“One, we want our drivers to be safe but, also, if there are serious accidents at curves, one of the first things that happen in litigation is expert witnesses testify whether these things were done properly or not.”
Technically, what commissioners approved was a “Ball Bank Safety Study.” In response to a question, Bauserman explained the term.
“The actual device developed to do those studies was a ball hanging from a pendulum in a box mounted on the dashboard of a vehicle, and the ball would swing when you went around a curve. You’d measure the angle of inertia as your vehicle went around the curve. It’s a little bit more sophisticated than that today, but the term came from that approach.”
Also at the meeting, Michael A. Frommer, the county’s new director of sanitary engineering and development, was welcomed by commissioners. They approved a resolution he presented, the sanitary sewer main improvement plans for a McDonald’s, to be submitted to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. Frommer said the McDonald’s would be located at the corner of Lewis Center Road and U.S. 23.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.