A concrete head wall just off of South Riverview Avenue in Miamisburg has become a traffic hazard since the reopening of Lower Miamisburg Road, according to resident Jeff Thatcher. Thatcher said he recently painted the barrier in hopes of making it more visible for motorists. City officials said they have started short-term ways to address the issue and are working on a long-term plan. FILE

Concrete traffic hazards prompt wrecks, changes on road near river

Concrete culvert-head walls encroaching into the roadway along South Riverview Avenue pose a danger to motorists, resident Jeff Thatcher said. And the amount of traffic through there has increased since Lower Miamisburg Road reopened in late June.

“Since the road opened back up, this turn here is dangerous,” he said. “People do speed down the road. There’s times when multiple vehicle come side by side and end up hitting the concrete wall.”

City officials met with Thatcher recently about the issue and are planning improvements over the next three years that may cost around $200,000, Miamisburg City Engineer Bob Stanley said.

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The head wall nearest Thatcher’s home is less than two feet off the road and “you can’t remove” it, Stanley said. “It’s an existing condition. It’s been there a long time.”

The city has installed a road sign warning motorists of the hazard on the north/south corridor along the Great Miami River, Stanley said.

A reflective warning had been there, but the area was the site of two accidents in the same week and one wreck “took the sign with it,” Thatcher said.

The area will be painted “safety yellow” – similar to parking spaces and curbs — after a contract is awarded in a few weeks, Stanley said.

The city’s long-term effort will include culvert replacements, drainage work and pedestrian sidewalk connectivity along Riverview, Stanley said.

“The real issue is having the appropriate right of way,” he said.

Since the reopening of Lower Miamisburg – which runs east and west off South Riverview – the head wall closest to Thatcher’s home has played a role in more than a handful of accidents, he said.

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Thatcher took it upon himself to paint the head wall, seeking to warn oncoming traffic.

“I just painted it with the brightest colors that I had just to grab people’s eyes,” he said. “And actually that day during the daytime you would see people slowing down before they got close too to it.”

Road width and drivers exceeding the speed limit are contributing factors in the wrecks, Thatcher said.

Speeders are “half the problem,” he said. “Most of them are at nighttime, so it’s almost (impossible) to see and they hug that turn because cars coming” from the opposite direction.

No one has been injured in the wrecks, he said, but there have been flat tires, a cracked transmission and a recently totaled van.

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