Xenia spending $817K to install traffic light, stop sign

Work is being done near the Walmart.

Construction has started on a couple of traffic safety improvements in the city near Walmart which will reduce crashes and congestion, according to city officials.

A mix of federal and city funds totalling $817,000 will be used to install a stop sign on the U.S. Route 35 east exit ramp near West Main Street and a traffic light in the Hospitality Drive and West Main Street area.

“The city of Xenia is growing, and along with growth comes growing pains,” said Lee Warren a city spokesman.

Construction is expected to take a year to complete.

Traffic congestion and the number of vehicle crashes started to grow in 2005, according to city documents.

The city initiated plans for the stop sign and traffic light after the West Main Street and Hospitality Drive intersection was identified as a problem area according to a three-year traffic study obtained by the city. The traffic study showed there were 30 crashes at the intersection. Most of the crashes, about 80 percent, were rear end collisions.

“Allowing people to turn left going toward (Route) 35 west and also allowing people going into Xenia to turn right at a signalized light will make it safer for everyone,” Warren said.

Road closures are not expected during the construction period, according to the city. Drivers will be directed to use a detour that includes Harner Drive, South Progress Drive and West Main Street.

“People will turn here anyway causing accidents, ” said Shirley Heneyes, a Xenia resident. “It’s going to free up some congestion down at the other traffic light where there’s a lot of accidents.”

In previous interviews, the city confirmed it had received complaints about the intersection over the years.

“There’s always accidents,” said Jennifer Lilje. “I guess it’s growing pains. We’re just not used to it and we don’t have a lot of patience. Maybe we need a little more patience.”