MATT: Hello and welcome to The Loop, I'm Matt Bruning. ERIN:I'm Erin McBride. A new
bridge in Marion County is making it safer for the people who use State
Route 309. MATT: When trains are switched on a rail line leading to the Marion
Industrial Center they often block traffic for several minutes several
times a day. This caused a major safety concern for residents in Marion because
emergency vehicles had to detour around the blocked crossing, costing vital minutes
to those in need of help. ERIN: The stopped trains were also a problem for people
who are trying to access recreational facilities like the Marion Senior Center
and youth baseball fields on the opposite side. Children would even crawl
through the train cars to get to their games. The bridge eliminates the rail
crossing, allowing traffic to move without a conflict with the rail line.
MATT: ODOT was also involved in another great community project in Cleveland. The
Opportunity Corridor aims to make a big impact on an area known as "The Forgotten Triangle."
As part of the project outreach plan ODOT worked with Kokosing
Construction Company to help the Rid-All Green Partnership convert a greenhouse
at their urban garden into a learning center. ERIN:Kokosing donated the materials
and equipment to pour a concrete slab floor. The Cleveland Job Corps carpentry
program staff and student apprentices build customized furniture for the new
Damien Forshe Learning Center. MATT: The Anthony Wayne bridge in Toledo has a new
look thanks to a brand new lighting system. ODOT just wrapped up a major
overhaul of Toledo's iconic suspension bridge. The plan was to simply reinstall
the old static lighting system. ERIN: But local resident Susan Reams and her nonprofit,
Toledo Alight, raised the more than $300,000 needed
for this LED lighting system. Friday, they flipped the switch for the first time.
The new system also syncs with lights on the nearby Veterans Glass City Skyway.
DAVE: As you're traveling down the highway, the one thing you probably never really
think about is the centerline - you know the yellow or white dash line that
divides a highway. For transportation nerds like us, we think
the history of it is fascinating. The first documented use of a centerline was
actually in 1911 in Wayne County, *ichigan. Come on guys who removed the "M" and
Yeray, I'm sorry about Michigan man you probably should join Buckeye Nation.
Anyway, some states began using yellow for their centerline and others well
they used white. Finally, in 1971 the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control
Devices was released and made yellow the standard color when dividing opposing
traffic as it was more visible at night and during rainstorms. Since then, we've
made the centerline safer. We've even prolonged its life by using
innovative materials in over the last few years. We use glass beads to improve
retro reflectivity. So what about the white - lines?
They first appeared in 1956. Most people think they're about two feet long when
in fact they're - yeah you get it - they're ten feet long. And the gap in between each
line, well it's 30 feet. Who Knew? MATT: Thanks a lot Dave. Get more ODOT news
online at transportation.ohio.gov , follow us on social media, and we always love your
story ideas and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. ERIN: And keep sending us great
videos just like this one from ODOT's 2019 Tech Conference.