STOW — The intersection of Fishcreek and Graham roads will see improvements similar to what was done at Graham and Darrow roads last year.

The city recently received a Highway Safety Grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to reduce crashes and improve pedestrian safety at the intersection.

"We are very excited to receive this grant and move forward with this project as it is going to be a huge benefit for the citizens and visitors of Stow because it truly focuses on improving safety, which is always our top priority," said Mayor John Pribonic.

The proposed improvements to the intersection include removing the southbound and northbound right-turn traffic islands; replacing all curb ramps; upgrading the entire traffic signal installation with new mast arms; LED signal heads with back plates; countdown pedestrian signals; auditory crosswalks; video camera detection; optimizing signal timing and phasing; adding delineators for access management; driveway realignment; resurfacing; and upgrading pavement markings.

"This is going to allow for a huge improvement in that area of our city and will truly benefit everyone who uses this intersection," said City Engineer Jim McCleary. "We will work efficiently keeping traffic moving throughout the project."

In an Akron Metropolitan Area Traffic Study 2015-17 report released last December, the Graham and Fishcreek intersection was ranked No. 14, making it Stow’s second worst intersection with 28,155 vehicles and 55 crashes.

Engineering for the project will begin in early 2020, followed by putting it out for bid in the fall of 2022. Construction is not slotted to take place until 2023. The city plans to keep traffic disruptions to a minimum and will maintain the flow of traffic in all directions during the length of the project.

The Highway Safety Grant will pay for 90% of the project cost while the City of Stow will cover the remaining 10%.

The Graham / Darrow roads intersection was improved last year. The facelift undertaken at the corner included the elimination of a traffic island, the installation of new signal poles, as well as handicap ramps, resurfacing and striping.

Removal of the island was the keystone of the improvements, McCleary said, because it increased the turning radius for trucks, allowing them to turn right from Darrow Road onto Graham more easily. "Traffic studies show that approximately 30 percent of the crashes in the intersection are caused in the northwest quadrant and are somewhat related to that traffic island," McCleary told the Stow Sentry.

The project got under way in late April 2018, with the total cost estimated around $800,000. Stow was awarded about $693,000 in Federal Highway Safety Funds from the Ohio Department of Transportation which covered the majority of the project costs; the city was responsible for the remaining expense. The Stow engineering department has served as the lead agency on the project.