Tuesday, January 7, 2003

Deadly road gets rumble strips

By Jennifer Edwards
The Cincinnati Enquirer

LIBERTY TWP. - In light of two fatal accidents last year on a narrow, winding road that abruptly dumps vehicles into a one-lane bridge over Gregory Creek, officials plan to install rumble strips to reduce traffic accidents.

The three sets of strips most likely will be placed by this spring on the northbound lane of Maud-Hughes Road just north of Hamilton-Mason Road and just south of the bridge.

"I speak for everyone when I say something needs to be done," said Carrie Tucker of Liberty Township, whose brother-in-law, Michael, 24, died after crashing his car there in November.

"Liberty has grown and they have widened the roads near the businesses, but they haven't done anything on the more country ones," Ms. Tucker said. "It would be a relief to see this happen. Maybe somebody can be saved."

Liberty Township trustees unanimously voted late Monday to pay $2,620.80 for three sets of strips along the 1,190 feet of the road that is tricky and dangerous if drivers travel too fast.

The thermal plastic strips can't be installed, however, until the weather warms a bit. They likely will go in by this spring, Administrator Nell Kilpatrick said. They will be a quarter of an inch thick and 8 inches wide.

The township already has guardrails on the bridge and signs posted notifying motorists that the coming bridge is one lane and has a reduced speed limit, which dips from 45 mph to 15 mph.

But that hasn't done enough to prevent frequent accidents. Overall last year, there were 15 accidents along Maud-Hughes Road, police records show.

The township is turning to rumble strips to slow motorists down in part because the county engineer's office won't have money anytime soon for the major construction project to reconfigure the road and bridge. Ms. Kilpatrick explained.

Mr. Tucker of Liberty died days after driving his white, 1995 Chevy Camaro "at a high rate of speed," failing to slow for the curve and running off the road Nov. 23, a crash report shows. His car went airborne, slammed into a utility pole, smashed nose first into the ground and rolled over on its top.

E-mail jedwards@enquirer.com

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