UPDATE: Domersville Road Off Limits As St. Rt. 66 Alternative
Commissioners from Fulton, Defiance, and Henry Counties agreed to pursue the possibility of making Co. Rd. 24 in Fulton and Henry counties an alternative to St. Rt. 66.
But Defiance County commissioners were opposed to including Domersville Road in the St. Rt. 66 alternative.
They based their opposition on the fact that the Tinora school district has two buildings on Domersville Road. The high school building is relatively close to the roadway.
Jim Wyse, Archbold mayor, and Dennis Howell, Archbold village administrator, started the meeting by describing the problems Archbold has suffered with trucks having difficulty negotiating the intersection of North Defiance and Stryker streets. They showed videos of trucks striking the bollards at the intersection.
Thomas Kime, Defiance County commissioner, said if the group wanted to sell the project as a safety improvement, Defiance County could not participate.
"We’re adamant. We can’t give safety as rationale. We can’t convince the public," he said.
The group discussed making the Fulton County and Henry county portions of Co. Rd. 24 the alternate to St. Rt. 66.
The two sections of Co. Rd. 24, if improved, would provide a convenient connection between the turnpike interchange and the present east-west section of US 6-St. Rt. 66. Vehicles would then turn west, to follow the current St. Rt. 66 alignment.
Defiance County officials said the car traffic counts on Domersville Road are already high. As a result of a rebuild in the early 2000s, the road can handle car traffic.
Heavy truck traffic continues to use St. Rt. 66, where Defiance County officials prefer those vehicles stay.
Other developments from the meeting:
•Frank Onweller, Fulton County engineer, said his office and Ohio Department of Transportation officials had discussed the proposal. ODOT had performed tests on the current Fulton County Rd. 24 surface, and determined it would cost $5.2 million to upgrade the road to handle heavy trucks from Co. Rd. A to US20A. That figure does not include potential right-of-way costs, or any costs associated with improving the Co. Rd. 24 Norfolk Southern railroad crossing.
•None of the three counties can afford the costs of upgrading Co. Rd. 24 on their own; state or federal money must be obtained. Otto Nicely, Defiance County commissioner, said he will be making trips to Washington D. C. in March and April, and could lobby legislators for the project then.
•A St. Rt. 66 alternative could be sold as an economic development project. It would serve the Archbold Con Agra plant, village industrial park, and General Motors Foundry and a trucking company in Defiance.
•Randy Ruffer, a German Township trustee, said the trustees will not stand in the way of turning Co. Rd. 24 into an alternative to St. Rt. 66. In the past, the trustees had opposed routing traffic between the turnpike interchange and Archbold. Ruffer said that opposition was based on a concerned that increasing traffic on Co. Rd. 24 would create higher road maintenance costs the township would have to pay.
The group decided to develop studies and proposals on the project.–Updated 1.26, 4 pm
Commissioners Discuss Co. Rd. 24 Upgrade Today
Commissioners from Fulton, Henry, and Defiance counties are scheduled to meet at 10 am today, Wednesday, in the Archbold Village Council chambers to discuss upgrading Co. Rd. 24.
Dean Genter, Fulton County commissioner, said some preliminary work has been done by Frank Onweller, county engineer, and the Ohio Department of Transportation on the possibility of upgrading the road to become an alternate to St. Rt. 66.
The road runs north and south, essentially from Ohio Turnpike Exit 25 to St. Rt. 281 in Defiance.
It would provide easy access to the turnpike, Archbold ConAgra plant, industrial park, and Defiance General Motors foundry.
“It’s a straight shot,” Genter said.
An upgraded Co. Rd. 24, known as Domersville Road in Defiance County, could take advantage of a new interchange at US24 and a relatively new bridge over the Maumee River near the GM plant.
The Co. Rd. 24 surface would have to be upgraded to meet truck traffic standards, Genter said.
Archbold officials have been concerned about longer semi trucks successfully negotiating the downtown intersection of North Defi- ance Street (St. Rt. 66) and Stryker St. (St. Rt. 2).
On several occasions, trucks have cut the corner too short and struck the protective bell bollard on the northwest corner of the intersection.
On occasion, trucks have hit the traffic signal pole. Once, the pole was damaged to the point that it had to be replaced.
Trucks also have damaged the Rupp Furniture building on the southwest corner of the intersection. Trucks have destroyed two bell bollards on that corner.
Jim Wyse, Archbold mayor, has said in the past he has been worried about the safety of pedestrians.
At their Monday night, Jan. 24 meeting, the German Township Trustees said they have received approximately $200,000 in State of Ohio Issue II bond money to resurface Co. Rd. 24 from Co. Rd. D to the Norfolk Southern tracks.
Because half of the roadway lies within the village limits of Archbold, trustees need to coordinate the project with the village.
Genter said converting Co. Rd. 24 to a St. Rt. 66 alternative is a long-range goal.
He said the commissioners from the three counties were to discuss the issue “and see if anybody is intrigued by the concept.
“We’ll present the concept and see what they want to do,” he said.–David Pugh