BOWLING GREEN — County Road 17D and U.S. Route 24 in Henry County, the site of several serious crashes in recent years, is being targeted by state officials for a new highway interchange.
The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) District 2 held a public virtual meeting Wednesday night to discuss the proposed interchange, along with other proposed projects to improve safety along about 11 miles of Rte. 24 in Henry and Defiance counties.
The proposed corridor would run from Woodlawn Avenue in Napoleon to Dommersville Road in Defiance County.
Between 2017 and 2019, 80 crashes occurred along this corridor, according to a safety study conducted by ODOT. Of those, 38% resulted in injuries, including six fatalities and seven serious injuries.
The study found 31% of the accidents occurred at intersections along that part of the highway, while 21% were rear-end crashes and 20% were turn-related.
The first phase of the $41 million overall project in the corridor would include $18 million to purchase property and build the interchange at 17D. Officials said the interchange likely would be very similar to the one in Defiance County at Dommersville Road and U.S. 24.
That interchange would mean on and off ramps to provide access from 17D to Rte. 24 or vice versa.
Overpasses, without direct access to Rte. 24, are being proposed at Independence Road and County Road P.
Closures, which would cut off direct access to Rte. 24, are being proposed at Jewell Road, Flory Road, Banner School Road, County Road 17 and Township Road 16. However, additional connector roads are being proposed for some of those locations to provide access nearby to Rte. 24.
Those closures would not occur until the connector roads are finished.
The project has a tentative start date of 2026, and written public comments on the project will be accepted by ODOT until Aug. 20. Those can be submitted by emailing Zachary.Porter@dot.ohio.gov, calling 419-373-4327 or mailing to Zachary Porter at Ohio Department of Transportation District 2, 317 E. Poe Road, Bowling Green, Ohio 43402.