DELPHOS — City officials continue to work on the Fifth Street Resurfacing Project planned for 2020.

Using an assessment done by Mannik Smith Group from last year, the proposal is to take the thoroughfare down from four lanes to three with a turning lane in the center and bike lanes on each side.

“We already have two sections of roadway in Delphos utilizing the three lanes: on Fifth Street from Elida Road to U.S. 30 and on Elida Avenue to Elida Road,” Safety Service Director Shane Coleman said. “That is working out really well and on the portion of Fifth Street from State Street to Elida Road, that will lessen the number lanes pedestrians have to cross.”

Coleman added that the middle turning lane takes vehicles slowing down to turn out of the flow of traffic and keeps the outside lanes moving.

“It will also prevent those who like to speed and go around slower vehicles from zig-zagging in and out of traffic,” he said. “Everyone will have to go with the flow of the outside lane.”

The Ohio Department of Transportation has found that traffic signals at four intersections along the Fifth Street Corridor are not warranted after conducting traffic and pedestrian counts. Coleman said the decision on the traffic lights will be made locally.

“The signal at State Street will more than likely come out and it will become a four-way stop,” Coleman said. “That light has no vehicle detection technology and with the exception of right after Jefferson High School lets out during school, there will be less delays at that intersection with a four-way stop.

“We are working closely with both schools and are discussing the lights at Pierce and Fifth and Franklin and Fifth. We are also working on a Creating Health Communities Safe Route to School plan as part of our project and that will identify improvements in terms of signage and pavement markings where to cross and how to cross. That will all tie in.”

Since the signals have been deemed unwarranted, the city will now resume all financial responsibility for the upkeep and replacement of those traffic signals. Upgrading each intersection with the new signals and technology is approximately $250,000.

The bike lanes are part of an effort to create a National Bike Route along Lincoln Highway.

“We are looking at the bike route as a system to attract tourism and economic development and to tie in with the two existing trails we have along the canal,” Coleman said. “Participating in the bike route could also open up some grants for us in the future.”

The project also includes sidewalks and curbing. Coleman said in some cases along the corridor, a minimal amount of easement would be requested for sidewalks.

“We are not going to be taking any property along Fifth Street,” Coleman added.

The city is still seeking participation from residents.

“We welcome comments and want to give everyone the opportunity to share their input,” Coleman said.

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