Repairs to ditch are dangerous, says nearby homeowner
To the editor:
I am writing this letter to warn those drivers who travel on South Medina Line Road between state Route 18 and Ridgewood of an issue with a roadside drainage ditch on the west side (Medina County side) of the road.
This ditch is in front of my property. I have lived at this property for over 19 years.
This section of the road is maintained by Summit County, which is supposed to maintain the roadside drainage ditches in agreement with Medina County.
Over the years I have witnessed various vehicles going off road and ending up in this ditch, the latest being in January. The vehicle was a large delivery truck. It had been raining and the driver lost control and started to go off the pavement onto the shoulder just at the beginning of this ditch and following along the entire length of the frontage (approximately 180 feet). The vehicle came to rest just short of the culvert pipe running under my driveway. The driver was not hurt but was shaken up.
As the ditch and grassy berm area were torn up from this accident, it was reported to Summit County to come out to see what could be done.
I saw this as a simple procedure that would only entail the surface repair of the edges of the ditch and cutting off the broken end of the culvert pipe. What ensued was a road crew came out with a large backhoe and proceeded to dig the whole ditch much deeper and wider.
I was shocked that this was their repair work.
I called Summit County to ask them to have someone come out to address this issue. A deputy director from the Public Service Department came out to look at the ditch. He said he took pictures of it to show to the Engineering Department but could not tell me what could be done to correct this problem.
I also insisted that someone from the Medina County Engineering Department come out — which was done. Unfortunately, he is looking to discuss with Summit County about having the slope of the road pavement evaluated to see why drivers are going off the side of the road and ending up in this ditch.
A call was placed to the Sharon Township Road Department, but I have not seen anyone come out to view this situation.
I have been asked what “I” want done. This has irritated me that the engineers of either county don’t simply address the danger of this particular ditch. I have suggested that it should be filled to a less dangerous level, as there is no good reason for the depth and width that has been created.
It was mentioned that drivers have to be more responsible. I don’t find this remark to be a satisfactory response. Due to the road coming down a slope from state Route 18 when heading south and leveling out in the area in front of this ditch, drivers pick up speed. Combine the speed with a wet or icy road surface, then it seems this ditch has become a magnetic attraction for trouble.
I have warned both Medina and Summit counties that the next vehicle that ends up in this now deeper and wider ditch may result in severe injury or death to the occupants of the vehicle.
How many engineers, etc., does it take to see that this is not a situation to walk away from and not take more responsibility for the maintenance of the safety of the roadway?
If you drive down south Medina Line Road between state Route 18 and Ridgewood and end up in this ditch, remember … it is your fault if you get injured or killed, not the fault of the highway engineering departments.
Marilyn Riazi, Copley
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