CLEVELAND -- The FOX 8 I-Team has obtained a list of highways the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) considers most dangerous or in need of significant safety improvements.
We started investigating this since drivers have hit and killed a state trooper and a Cleveland police officer in recent months in the same section of I-90 on the city’s west side.
The I-Team found ODOT puts together a list of highways so the agency can figure out how best to spend about $130 million a year on traffic safety projects. ODOT breaks down the highways into tiny sections a tenth of a mile long. Factors include the numbers of crashes, severity of crashes (fatal, serious injury, etc.), amount of traffic and more.
We found eight of the top 25 on the list are in Northeast Ohio. For instance, at the top of the list, a section of I-76 in Akron near South Main. And, near the top, another section of I-76 in Akron near East Avenue.
In Cleveland, near the top of the list, two sections of I-90 just west of I-71.
ODOT Spokesman Matt Bruning said, "We're looking at the projects where we can get the most for those hard-earned taxpayer dollars--what's going to have the biggest impact." He points to a major project underway now in Akron involving I-76 and the Central Interchange. Bruning adds, safety improvement projects can vary from something as simple as putting up new signs to something as complex as adding lanes or changing traffic patterns.
Despite what happened where the trooper and officer were killed near I-90 and Warren Road, that area is down at number 166 on the ODOT list.
Drivers we met each can point to different highways they consider dangerous. And they also admit, there’s only so much ODOT can do about bad drivers speeding, weaving, and getting distracted by cell phones.
While we reviewed a highway list, ODOT says it also creates lists for other categories of roads. That way, the agency isn’t balancing a highway in Cleveland against a rural road in Amish country.
Top five most-dangerous highways in Cuyahoga County:
Top five most-dangerous highway in Summit County: