ODOT holds forum on Tibbetts Wick project

ODOT is proposing changes to the Route 422 and Tibbetts Wick intersection in McKinley Heights

WEATHERSFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – The Ohio Department of Transportation wants to improve a troublesome and dangerous intersection in Trumbull County.

On Wednesday, they asked neighbors and local businesses for their thoughts on how to make it better during a forum at the McKinley Heights fire station.

The proposed changes to the intersection of Tibbetts Wick Road and U.S. Route 422 are intended to help traffic flow, but people who live nearby said it may create more headaches for them.

ODOT is looking to add a right turn lane on Tibbetts Wick and make one of the side streets a cul-de-sac as part of the $1.2 million plan. The plan also would reroute side streets near the congested intersection.

“It is congested, very congested,” resident John Barrell said.

“I am concerned about the traffic coming off of Tibbetts Wick,” Luberta Tubbs said.

“Making left hand turns around this area is tricky. It really is,” Todd McMahan said.

Some people are upset about the plan and came to Wednesday’s forum to voice their concerns.

Gardenland Avenue is one of the streets ODOT is talking about changing. It wants to change the road from one that connects with Tibbetts Wick Road to a cul-de-sac. People who live there said it is not a very good idea.

“I was totally surprised. It seems to be a well-kept secret around here. I see no reason for Gardenland to be closed off. It is not part of the traffic issue,” Mari Anne James said.

Down the street, Tubbs is concerned about emergency workers getting into her neighborhood.

“If I had to get an ambulance or somebody in it would catch hell getting to my house,” she said.

The current plan is supposed to take place in 2018. ODOT did not have anyone to talk on camera, but they said they will consider changes after getting public input. But off camera, officials said the intersection will be changed in the next couple of years whether as originally planned or not.

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