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Paulding to get safer US 24

After a string of accidents this year on U.S. 24 in Paulding County, extra pavement markings will be added at seven at-grade intersections in the next month, the Ohio Department of Transportation said Wednesday.

The decision to add dashed-edge lines across median crossover areas was reached after collaboration among the transportation department and federal and local governments, the transportation department said.

The markings will be added to the intersections with U.S. 24 at County Road 21, Township Road 83, County Road 87, County Road 115, County Road 232, County Road 133 and County Road 143, the state said.

Transportation department officials said they consulted with federal officials, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Paulding County commissioners’ office and the Paulding County Sheriff’s Department.

“We analyzed the accidents to see if any additional roadway improvements could be made to increase safety. The group’s diversity provided needed perspective of why the accidents occurred and possible solutions,” said Kirk Slusher, deputy director of the transportation department’s district, which includes Paulding County.

In some cases, the transportation department said, motorists failed to stop in the median area of the intersection before proceeding across the lanes or into traffic.

“We felt that adding a dashed edge line across the median crossover areas would perhaps provide motorists a visual reference as to where the median areas are,” Slusher said.

“Better defining these areas may provide motorists with greater assurance they are squarely within a safe zone while waiting for traffic to clear before proceeding to cross or turn into traffic.”

Fred Pieper, a Paulding County commissioner, said in the statement: “Any improvement to enhance the safety of the U.S. 24 corridor is greatly appreciated.”

On May 5, a man was killed and three other motorists, including two children, were injured in a crash at U.S. 24 and County Road 115.

On Feb. 5, a 14-vehicle pileup on U.S. 24 at County Road 87 killed a woman and caused an ethanol spill.