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The Times
  • Signage changes proposed for Manheim intersection

  • The intersection of Snells Bush Road and Inghams Mills Road in the town of Manheim could see changes as a result of a recent accident that occurred at the crossing.

    Correspondence from Herkimer County Highway Superintendent Jay Ewanyk to town Supervisor John Haughton indicated several signage improvements could be made to the intersection.

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  • The intersection of Snells Bush Road and Inghams Mills Road in the town of Manheim could see changes as a result of a recent accident that occurred at the crossing.
    Correspondence from Herkimer County Highway Superintendent Jay Ewanyk to town Supervisor John Haughton indicated several signage improvements could be made to the intersection.
    “The town originally asked for the installation of a four-way stop at the intersection, but the county Highway Department’s analysis of the intersection indicated a four-way stop is not warranted at this time,” said Haughton. “A lack of reportable accidents at the intersection did not justify the installation of a four-way stop or of a control beacon, according to the highway department.”
    While the county’s analysis confirmed the type of traffic control devices currently in use at the intersection are in conformance with current standards, Ewanyk recommended additional emphasis could be placed on the cross road signs in advance of the intersection on Snells Bush Road.
    The correspondence from Ewanyk to the town said this can be accomplished by installing two 18 inch by 18 inch object markers on top of the intersection signs, along with bright side reflectors on the sign posts. Ewanyk also recommended that a secondary 30 inch stop sign with bright side reflectors be placed on the left side of Inghams Mills Road on both sides of the intersection.
    The correspondence from Ewanyk also said the speed limit on both roads is 55 miles per hour. As such, standards indicate a minimum of 495 feet is required to reduce speed to a stop from 55 mph,  Ewanyk said in his letter to the town council. The stop ahead signs are currently placed just beyond this 495 feet limit and therefore, do not require relocation, he added in his letter.
    “So in an effort to reduce speed on Snells Bush Road as traffic approaches the intersection, the county recommended that the cross road signs be modified to include a 35 mph auxiliary speed limit sign,” said Haughton. “The intent is to reduce speed as traffic enters the intersection.”
    The correspondence said improvements to sight distance looking south on Snells Bush Road from the western side of Inghams Mills Road would prove difficult to implement, as several utility poles are located along the earthen berm in this area and right-of-way along Snells Bush Road is assumed at 49.5 feet. The poles, said Ewanyk, are installed eight feet within the highway boundary.
    He added relocation may require property acquisitions to set the poles further away from the road edge, as well  rebuilding the line potentially all the way to Dockey Road to maintain alignment.
    Ewanyk said the county highway department would contact National Grid to determine the feasibility and associated cost of the relocation, and Haughton, who owns property along the road edge, said he and his brother would be willing to grant easements to National Grid to move the poles.
    Page 2 of 2 - “These improvements, while not what the town had requested, are a step in the right direction and could make a difference,” said Haughton. “Something has to be done at this intersection, because there is the potential for a bad accident to occur there. To me, it’s not a question of if a fatal accident will occur there, it’s a question of when a fatal accident will occur there.”
    Manheim Highway Superintendent Carl Stallman agreed with Haughton.
    “Something has to be done to slow traffic down as it enters that intersection, and these recommended improvements could make a difference,” he said.
    Haughton did not have a timetable as to when the new signs would be installed.
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