Friday, August 18, 2000

Lebanon weighing new routes

City hopes to redirect trucks

By Cindi Andrews
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — City officials have come up with a new tack for driving truck traffic out of Lebanon: rerouting the state routes that crisscross the city.

        The first candidate is Ohio 123, which follows Main Street partway through town. Under a proposal put together this week, Ohio 123 south instead would pick up Ohio 122 east at Red Lion. From there, it'd take Ohio 48 south to Miller Road east to the U.S. 42 bypass, where it would reconnect.

        “We're just looking at any possible way of directing traffic around town instead of through town,” Lebanon Planning Director Marty Kohler said.

        Truckers often cut through Lebanon between Interstates 71 and 75. Trucks can't be banned from Main Street, Warren County Engineer Neil Tunison said, but the rerouting would encourage through traffic to avoid downtown.

        Mr. Tunison said he supports the plan for Ohio 123, which would require the county to take over maintenance of 3 miles of road that would no longer be a state route.

        It drew even more enthusiasm from Main Street resi dents, who recently failed to stop a state plan to widen their street. East Main Street, which Ohio 123 follows, is a historic district.

        “I'm extremely excited about them rerouting traffic out of the historic district,” said Rod Hilterbran, a leader of the residents' group. “This is what we've been after for years.”

        The rerouting is not a done deal. The Ohio Department of Transportation will make the decision after getting recommendations and holding a public hearing.

        The proposed route also will be used as a detour, Mr. Kohler said, when work starts on Main Street next spring.

        Lebanon would ultimately like to remove all state routes from downtown, Mr. Kohler said. Ohio 63 and Ohio 48 also go through the historic district.


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