The preliminary work for a safety project on Route 62 in Masury has begun.

Tree cutters were out the last week of March.

General contractor A.P. O’Horo Co. of Youngstown, which awarded the $1,929,000 contract, is expected to begin construction the week of April 17 to block the median at Broadway Avenue so that motorists cannot cross the highway there, and to build an emergency crossover just east of Broadway, said Ohio Department of Transportation spokesman Justin Chesnic.

When the work is complete, motorists will only be able to make right turns on or off Route 62 at Broadway. Motorists used to using this crossover will have to use the Route 82-Route 62 cloverleaf to the east, or the Bedford restricted crossing U-turn, which will be built as part of this project.

Around the end of the month, O’Horo will begin building the RCUT on Route 62 at Bedford Road.

When the RCUT is complete, motorists on Route 62 who want to turn right will exit as they do now. Those who want to turn left will have dedicated turn lanes. Motorists on Bedford who want to cross the highway or turn left onto Route 62 will enter a left-turn lane, cross onto another turn lane that will allow them to re-enter Route 62 in the opposite direction and make a right turn onto Bedford or continue on Route 62.

From the end of April to about mid-July, the outside lanes of Route 62 around the construction site and the Bedford-Route 62 crossover will be closed for work on the outer portions of the RCUT, Chesnic said.

From about mid-July, the left lanes of Route 62 will be closed for work in the median. Only right turns to and from Route 62 and Bedford will be allowed during this phase, which also is expected to take 2 ½ months.

The project completion date is Sept. 30.

promoODOT launched the safety study that led to the project following a Sept. 20, 2018, crash in which a garbage truck on Bedford pulled out from the stop sign into the path of a minivan that was traveling on Route 62. A passenger in the minivan was killed.

Crash data collected during the study showed there had been 27 crashes at Route 62 and Bedford between 2008 and 2017, one of them fatal, and 17 with injuries. There were 23 crashes with eight injuries during the same time frame at Broadway.

Since that time, NEWS On the Green has collected reports at those locations investigated by Brookfield police and the Ohio Highway Patrol that were posted online by the state. Our review showed that there have been 14 crashes at Route 62 and Broadway from 2019 to the present that resulted in 12 suspected injuries, with nine of those injured being taken to a hospital.

At Route 62 and Bedford, there have been 11 crashes resulting in six suspected injuries and five hospital transports, and one of those taken to a hospital was listed as having a suspected serious injury. At one of the Bedford crashes, a Brookfield policeman was at fault.

The safety study commissioned by ODOT also found that 80 percent of the crashes at each intersection were caused by vehicles failing to yield while attempting to cross Route 62.

In reviewing crashes since then, NEWS On the Green found that 19 of the 25 crashes – 76 percent – were due to failing to yield, and two crashes – 8 percent – were due to trailing vehicles running into the back of vehicles that were slowing to turn.