Monroe considers spending $7K on Ohio 63 speed study after double-fatal crash

Monroe city council is considering spending $7,000 on a speed study along Ohio 63, west of Interstate 75, after a double-fatal crash at Ohio 63 and Main Street earlier this year. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
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Monroe city council is considering spending $7,000 on a speed study along Ohio 63, west of Interstate 75, after a double-fatal crash at Ohio 63 and Main Street earlier this year. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Study must be performed before ODOT considers lowering speed limit on state route.

Since Monroe city council members were divided on whether to spend $7,000 for a speed study along Ohio 63, site of a recent double-fatal crash, the legislation was tabled until the next meeting July 13.

Council members Christina McElfresh and Todd Hickman said they were in favor of the study during a recent council meeting, but Vice Mayor Keith Funk said he wanted to wait until the police report from the fatal crash was completed to see if the study was warranted.

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City Manager Bill Brock told council that since the Ohio Department of Transportation controls the speed limit on Ohio 63, the city must conduct a study before the state will consider lowering the speed limit from 50 miles per hour.

On May 14, a double-fatal crash occurred at Ohio 63 and Main Street 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.

The driver of the tractor-trailer was not injured, police said.

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.

Monroe police are still investigating the crash, said officer Joshua King.

Days after the crash, Monroe residents circulated a petition on social media that said they “demand a lower speed limit” and turn-only green lights east- and westbound at the Ohio 63 and Main Street intersection, and “prepare to stop flashing lights” at the following intersections: Ohio 63/Main Street, Britton Lane/Ohio 63 and Yankee Road/Ohio 63.

CT Consultants, of Cincinnati, submitted a proposal to the city of Monroe for engineering services to perform a speed limit evaluation along Ohio 63 from I-75 to Yankee Road at a cost of $7,125, according to a report from Brock.

The consultants said speed data would be obtained at spacing of ½- to ¾-mile increments along the study area. To obtain speeds for eastbound and westbound directions, two radar stations would be set up at each location. Speed data would be captured for approximately 48 hours using 10 stealth radar stations at the following locations:

  • Between American Way and Lawton Avenue
  • Between Lawton Avenue and Main Street
  • Between Main Street and Britton Lane
  • Between Britton Lane and Heritage Green Drive
  • Between Heritage Green Drive and Yankee Road

The speed data analysis would be provided to the city, according to a memo to Brock. The consultants would coordinate with ODOT District 8 regarding the speed data and results from the initial analysis to determine if this section of roadway is a “good candidate and favorable” for reduction of speed limit, according to the contract.

If council approves the contract, the consultants expect the study to be completed within 60 days.