Ottawa County is spending about $70,500 this summer to make sure its road speed limits and safety improvements fall in line with government standards.
Last month, county commissioners Jodi Regal, Steve Arndt and Jim Sass approved a service contract with MasterMind Systems Inc.
Work will include:
• A right-of-way (road hazard) inventory/inspection, $14,075.
• Sign inventory/inspection, $17,710.
• No-passing zone study, $12,880.
• Curve safe speed study, $16,100.
• Sign compliance study, $9,660.
“They will be getting to work real soon here,” David Brunkhorst, county engineer, said. “The bulk of their work is making sure we fall in line with guidelines in Manual of Unified Traffic Control Devices. That’s our Bible. We are using the skills of others to identify those areas for potential safety and signage problems.”
MasterMind Systems is qualified through the Ohio Department of Transportation to perform traffic safety studies and has worked with agencies in all 88 counties as well as a number of other states, according to the company website.
The company was started by Bruce Hickman and has roots in Elmore. It still maintains that site on Rice Street but is now headquartered in Delaware, O., according to Nick Hickman, company vice president. A new office is being opened in Florida.
Crews will be focused on using global positioning systems (GPS) and geographical information systems (GIS) to review sites. No township or state roads will be included in the survey.
“They will be looking at where things are at. What areas is speed a concern? Is there enough sight distance before a stop? Should there be double lines here instead of single lines?” Brunkhorst explained.
Crews will also spend time out in the field verifying everything, said Nick Hickman. They will travel in a white Ford F-150 truck and white Jetta bearing the MasterMind Systems logo, cautionary labels and well as a flashing light bar on the roof.
“Actually, Ottawa County is the first project we will be working on this year,” Hickman said. “We are chomping at the bit to get out there. But the weather has to cooperate a little.”
Because of recent changes in government regulations, sign inventories and no passing studies have dominated the company’s workload in the last year.
The company is expected to finish the local survey by Sept. 30. The county will receive a hardcopy report and recommendations along with GPS and GIS software with all the information correlated for easy accessibility.
“The nice part is they can use our software to make reports on whatever they want in the future,” Hickman said.