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Spruce and Chidlaw
The 88th Security Forces Squadron and the 88th Civil Engineer Directorate have worked together to combat congestion during peak times at the intersection of Chidlaw Road and Spruce Way, Area A, via implementation of a continuous right-hand turn onto Spruce. CE continues to evaluate traffic flow there. (photo by Niki Jahns)
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Tackling traffic troubles

Posted 1/11/2013   Updated 1/11/2013 Email story   Print story

    


by Amy Rollins
Skywrighter Staff


1/11/2013 - WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio -- Congestion at one of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base's key intersections in Area A is being alleviated and backup issues at Gate 12A are being addressed by a continuous right-hand turn implemented the morning of Jan. 7 by the 88th Security Forces Squadron and the 88th Civil Engineer Directorate.

The four-way stop at Chidlaw Road and Spruce Way has been studied via traffic counts conducted by CE, which recommended implementing a temporary continuous right-hand turn from Chidlaw Road onto Spruce Way during peak flow times, during the beginning of work days, said Fred Tito, a CE design manager. Traffic cones, signage and additional personnel are being used to modify the four-way stop.

To accommodate the continuous right turn, two movements at the intersection are being restricted. First, traffic southbound on Chidlaw Road is restricted from turning left onto Spruce Way. Also, eastbound traffic on Spruce Way is prohibited to continue through on Spruce Way and is forced to turn right or left onto Chidlaw Road.

Drivers may continue east along the new Spruce Way and then enter internal Gate 9A for the Wright-Patterson Medical Center or internal Gate 8A, on Schuster Road, to reach the rest of Area A. Of course, they may also continue to use internal Gate 38A into Kittyhawk Center.

More traffic is funneling through Gate 12A due to the 2012 closure of the portion of State Route 444 that is on the base's federal land and bisected Area A.

Some drivers were forced to make adjustments Jan. 7 by the change, but there was a noticeable improvement in traffic flow Jan. 8, Mr. Tito said.

"When you make a change like this, there is always going to be some initial confusion. We had Skywrighter articles and a Facebook announcement, but you are not going to get the information to everyone. There was definitely some driver uncertainty the first day, but Tuesday's traffic flowed much more smoothly," he said. "We're still evaluating to see whether it makes sense to keep the continuous right-hand turn as opposed to having Security Forces personnel direct traffic in the intersection. It's a matter, at this point, of seeing what has the most benefit. There are still some bugs to work out."

Mr. Tito said the temporary continuous right-hand turn will be left in place for evaluation, but it's already had a major effect on backups at Gate 12A on Chidlaw Road.

"It definitely solves that problem," Mr. Tito said, but CE is studying the change's effects on the other legs of the Chidlaw Road/Spruce Way intersection.

Other changes resulting from the SR 444 project:

· More directional and warning signage were added this week to the fence line that crosses over where the current SR 444 curves by the gas station at Dayton-Yellow Springs Road, and near the new Gate 1A. Sometimes it can be hard to make out the visual cue that there's a curve there, Mr. Tito said.

· The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has conducted its own traffic count of the newly redirected SR 444.

"From what I've observed, the new SR 444 has seen minimal impact to those roadways," Mr. Tito said.

· The speed limit on a portion of Spruce Way has been changed from 35 mph to 45 mph, specifically starting from the Gates 8A/38A intersection heading south.

The speed reduces to 25 mph at the western end as the new roadway reenters and approaches the intersection with Chidlaw Road.

The speed limit remains 35 mph on the portion of Spruce Way between the new Gate 1A and the Gates 8A/38A intersection.



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