Open house scheduled Thursday for Lovers Lane

STEUBENVILLE – City Engineer Michael Dolak. the Brooke-Hancock-Jefferson Metropolitan Planning Commission and the Ohio Department of Transportation will host a second open house Thursday to present information about the proposed roundabout at the intersection of Lovers Lane and Fort Steuben Drive.

The open house is set from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the PrimeTime Senior Center.

“We will not have a formal presentation, but I will provide a five-minute discussion on the history of the Lovers Lane project and the alternative recommended, which is the roundabout. Our consulting firm, the GPD Group of Columbus, and the Ohio Department of Transportation believe the roundabout will easily accommodate existing resident driveways as opposed to a signalized intersection,” said Dolak.

“The cost of building a roundabout is less than building a signalized intersection, and ongoing maintenance costs are less for a roundabout than a signalized intersection. The roundabout will improve safety and lower speeds and provide a traffic calming effect on Lovers Lane. A roundabout will improve safety for drivers, reduce traffic congestion and compliment community values,” said Dolak.

“Personnel from the city, BHJ, ODOT and the GPD Group will be on hand to discuss the roundabout and listen to comments and answer questions,” he noted.

According to Dolak, “the city has a history of planned improvements for Lovers Lane dating back to 1976. The current project builds on previous concepts developed in 2008 as part of a Lovers Lane concept study, which included the T intersection of Lovers Lane and Fort Steuben Drive.

“This open house is being held to present information about the preferred alternative, which is the roundabout, and to seek additional feedback from the public. Our project team will consider the input received as the project moves into the detailed design phase,” Dolak added.

He noted the intersection project is anticipated to start in July 2016 and be completed in June 2017.

He has said the 10,000 vehicles a day from Sunset Boulevard to the Fort Steuben Mall Drive does qualify the area for a roundabout.

Dolak said Phase II of the Lovers Lane project will see the widening of the Sunset Boulevard and Lovers Lane intersection starting in 2017.

“That will mean a small amount of property acquisition and that is set for a 2017 start date, with completion scheduled for September 2018,” Dolak explained.

“Phase III will see the road completely rebuilt with proper drainage from Princeton Avenue to Fort Steuben Mall Drive. We are looking at a total cost of more than $5 million with most of the cost being covered by federal and state money,” Dolak said.

(Gossett can be contacted at dgossett@heraldstaronline.com.)