By RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY
PDT Staff Writer
NEW BOSTON — With Ohio 139 closed in New Boston for six months, local traffic is being detoured through residential neighborhoods to Lakeview Avenue. The result has been a traffic nightmare backed-up for several blocks from the Lakeview and Gallia (U.S. 52 West) intersection. Motorists often had to wait 10 minutes, or more, to get through the light.
The Village of New Boston on Tuesday installed a new traffic control box that will allow them to add more time to the traffic lights, and let more cars through the intersection to reduce the traffic tie-up.
Village Administrator Steve Hamilton explained that the old controls were timed-out already, and could not add any additional time to the lights. Only three or four cars were getting through at one time, while dozens more waited behind them. The new controls will allow the village to add more time to the lights.
“After we get this box up, I’m hoping to let eight to 10 cars out,” Hamilton said.
While the light stays green longer on Lakeview Avenue, that means it will stay red longer on 52 West. Hamilton said he didn’t expect it to cause too many delays on the highway, because it hasn’t been backed-up nearly as bad as Lakeview Avenue.
“Eight or 10 cars is not going to take long. But when the school buses run, I want to get all the traffic I can off of Lakeview Avenue. People aren’t being considerate. They’re flying down alleys and going the wrong way down one-way streets. Maybe this will ease their tension a little bit if they can get out,” Hamilton said.
One block up, at the intersection of 52 West/Gallia and 139/Harrisonville, traffic lights have already been timed to allow more motorists to pass through on 52/Gallia, while 139 South remains closed for construction. Hamilton said the lights already let seven or eight cars through at one time.
The new control boxes were installed Tuesday at Lakeview and 52 West and were expected to be activated overnight, so they are working right now.
“After the road construction (on 139) is done, we’ll go back and time them all the way they’re supposed to be,” Hamilton said.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 235, or firstname.lastname@example.org.