Drivers who travel through Monroe will see additional equipment added in hopes of reducing the number of accidents at Ohio 63 and Main Street, said City Manager Bill Brock.
Planned improvements began Thursday to add a protected left turn function to the north and south bound turn lanes of Ohio 63. All traffic turning left onto Main Street from Ohio 63 can turn on a green arrow only, he said during Tuesday night’s City Council.
He said the improvements will cause extra time at this intersection for all phases of traffic. Green time will be added to Ohio 63 to compensate for the additional time needed for the protected left. That means north and south bound traffic on Main Street will have longer wait times during the red phase of the signal, he said.
Future improvements are being planned to add storage to the left turn lanes at the intersection as traffic volumes continue to increase, he said.
Brock said in 2019 an average of 26,000 vehicles per day traveled on Ohio 63, a number that dropped to 20,000 during the COVID-19 pandemic because of fewer drivers. He said 10 years ago the average was 16,000 vehicles per day.
The city has been considering ways to make the intersection safer after a double-fatal crash occurred there on May 14 when a tractor-trailer and silver sedan collided. Marita Avery, 59, of Middletown, a classroom educational assistant at Crossroads Middle School, part of the Fairfield district, and her nephew, Anthony L. Mitchell, 26, were killed.
Mitchell died from multiple traumatic injuries and his death was ruled an accident, according to the Butler County Coroner’s Office. Avery, the driver of the sedan, was transported by CareFlight to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton where she died, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.
Since 2018, there have been 94 crashes at that intersection, including 57 non-injury, 36 injury and one fatal, according to Monroe police crash reports obtained by The Journal-News.