CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Motorists should get ready for a traffic nightmare on U.S. Route 224 in Canfield.
The Ohio Department of Transportation said on Thursday, traffic likely will go down to one lane until the fall as part of a multi-million dollar widening project. The $6.5 million project will replace and widen the U.S. Route 224 bridge over Route 11 and also will include the widening of Raccoon Road and the widening of the Route 11 southbound ramp to U.S. 224.
The Canfield project is expected to finish in two parts, with the road work complete by the end of August and bridge work in October.
The work will mean a tight squeeze for first responders. Canfield Police Chief Chuck Colucci said officers will be looking for drivers trying to beat the light and clogging up intersections.
“Stop at the red light. Do not clog up the intersections. Patrol units are going to be out enforcing that violation specifically,” Colucci said.
He said motorists should plan ahead and give themselves extra time to get where they are going. Colucci also asked motorists to respect the speed limits on any alternate routes, especially if it is in a residential area.
The fire department is going to three-man crews instead of the two-man crews it runs now, but that plan has been in the works since a levy passed last fall. The construction project helped Canfield officials decide when to start using the three-person crews.
“Each truck used to back each other up on every serious call. Now, they will have a three-man crew and they will be able to handle that call. If they need more resources, they will just call back for more resources,” Cardinal Joint Fire District Chief Don Hutchison said.
The new crews start running Wednesday, which is also when an ambulance goes into service. Canfield firefighters also double up as EMTS or paramedics.
If an ambulance from Lane Life Trans can’t get to a call, Canfield can send its ambulance out as a backup.
The fire chief also had some advice for motorists.
“If you see the sirens, hear the sirens, see the red lights, pull to the right, let the truck get through,” Hutchison said.