NORTON, Ohio — ODOT is planning a $1 million project to reconfigure the intersection of State Route 585 and Eastern Road after a study found dozens of crashes in recent years.
The intersection, which separates Norton in Summit County from Chippewa Township in Wayne County, has seen 85 crashes since 2006.
In nearly fifty percent of the accidents, there were injuries. There has been one fatality over the same time period.
"It has made our list of one of the more dangerous intersections, so we're able to apply and receive safety funding for that," said ODOT spokesman Justin Chesnic.
Chesnic explained that many of accidents are side-angle crashes as drivers cross or turn onto 585, a four-lane divided highway.
To cut down on collisions, ODOT is planning to build Restricted Crossing U-Turns (RCUTS) north and south of the intersection.
Once the redesign is complete in 2020, drivers will no longer be able to cross 585 or turn left off of Eastern Road.
"What they'll do is they'll make a right turn, go a couple hundred feet up the road, be able to get into a dedicated left lane which will create a U-Turn, where they'll be able to come back in the opposite direction," Chesnic said.
RCUTS are new to Ohio, according to ODOT officials.
The first RCUTS in the state are scheduled to be constructed this summer at U.S. 224 and Westfield Road in Westfield Township. Last October, ODOT told News 5, there had been 23 crashes at that intersection since 2011, including two fatalities.
Another RCUT project is planned for State Route 21 and Butterbridge Road in Stark County.
A public meeting on the 585 and Eastern Road changes will take place February 26 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Shirley L. McGuire Community Center in Norton.