DEFIANCE — A project to improve safety at three U.S. 24 intersections, just east of the city, was awarded funds from the Highway Safety Improvement Program.
The project will:
Construct an overpass on Independence Road over Route 24.
At Jewell Road, remove the median preventing access to the opposite side of the highway. Traffic will be limited to right in – right out movements on the east side of Route 24, and will have access eliminated to westbound Route 24
At Flory Road, remove the median preventing access to the opposite side of the highway. Traffic will be limited to right in – right out movements on the on the west side of Route 24, and will have access eliminated to eastbound Route 24
Construct a connector road between Flory and Egler roads to ensure Egler Road is not cut off by a parked train.
The Ohio Department of TransportatioN District 1 will complete the design work, oversee construction of the Independence Road overpass, remove pavement in the median, and establish right in – right out access and at Jewell Road and Flory Road.
The Defiance County engineer will construct cul-de-sacs on Jewell and Flory roads, and will be responsible for construction of the Egler-Flory connector road.
The estimated $4.5 million project is anticipated to be constructed in 2027.
Funding for the project began with the Defiance County Engineer, Warren Schlatter, P.E., P.S., who secured $2 million in safety funds through the County Engineers Association of Ohio. The county has also committed to a 20% match towards the project.
ODOT secured an additional $2 million in safety funds through HSIP.
Gov. Mike DeWine has directed ODOT to be even more focused on safety. That’s why an additional $50 million from the motor fuel user fee is designated for safety projects annually, making Ohio’s safety program one of the largest in the nation.
“In the nearly 10 years since the Route 24 expansion between Fort Wayne and Toledo has been completed, traffic between Defiance and Napoleon has increased dramatically,” said District 1 Deputy Director Chris Hughes.
The project puts into action plans developed in 2021 as part of a feasibility study of the U.S. 24 corridor between Defiance and Napoleon. An independent project in Henry County will address the intersections at County Road 17D and Banner School Road.
That project is being developed by the ODOT District 2 office in Bowling Green and is proposing to construct an interchange at County Road 17D, and a connector road between Banner School Road and County Line Road to maintain access to Route 24.
The Route 24 feasibility study is available on the project website: transportation.ohio.gov/Defiance24Independence
The next step is for Defiance County to formally vacate portions of Route 24, Jewell Road and Flory Road as necessary to modify their access to Route 24.