The Tuscarawas County Engineer is seeking federal grant dollars for safety improvements to the intersection of Schneider's Crossing and Dover-Zoar Road. (Stacey Carmany, Tusco TV)
NEW PHILADELPHIA - The Tuscarawas County engineer will be going after federal grant funding for safety improvements at the Schneider’s Crossing/Dover-Zoar Road intersection after getting county commissioners’ blessing.
During a meeting with the Tuscarawas County Commissioners Monday, Joe Bachman heard feedback from several property-owners about a plan to improve visibility at the intersection by raising Schneider’s Crossing near the stop sign and lowering an elevated area along Dover-Zoar.
Froman Hill Road resident Guy Zeigler said he was concerned that the work would make it more difficult for him to access his fields.
"My concern is how much they’re gonna raise that crossroad, and if they’re going to cut this down, what he’s talking with the footage, how are we getting in the field? We’re level there now. We drive into all our fields up there level. If we take this down four feet, how are we gonna get in and out?"
Bachman said they should be able to put in some kind of a grade as part of the project so the Zeiglers can still get their equipment in and out.
"It wouldn’t be very hard to put a slope on the entire area that you could still access your field from the entire area," he said. "When you think about four feet horizontally and even within 20 feet of the right-of-way, it’d be a little bit steep but if you want us to go out into your field and make it a little bit shallower of a grade, that’s something we could do."
Commissioner Al Landis said he thinks the improvements would make Weaver’s work a little safer (because they would make him move visible while moving equipment).
"Moving farm equipment has to be an issue, especially when you’re crossing there from Froman Hill over to Schneider’s Crossing. With the slow-moving vehicles, with that line of sight, you’re going to be more visible. You’re going to be able to see people coming," he said.
Bachman said the Ohio Department of Transportation recommended the improvements in 2003 following safety study that recorded four accidents at the intersection with one fatality over a three-year period. He said he wanted to make sure the commissioners were on board before he applied for funding.
“We had done a preliminary design in 2003 and had a commissioners’ hearing, and the commissioners elected not to do the project," he said. "I just didn’t want to go down that road if the commissioners aren’t going to support this project."
The cost of the project has been estimated at $2-million, but Bachman said 75 or 80 percent of that cost would be covered if the county is approved for the competitive grant.