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MANSFIELD – Folks driving around Richland County may have recently noticed black wires running across the road in several different locations.

The Ohio Department of Transportation has been conducting a traffic counting survey the past several weeks throughout the county.

ODOT traffic study
Equipment used for the study is provided through a contracted company.

ODOT Regional Public Information Officer Amanda McFarland said the department conducts this type of survey every three years.

“(The) traffic counting stations people are seeing are not a part of any specific or current project,” McFarland said. “Every three years we do a survey of the roads we maintain.”

Survey stations were placed in a variety of areas across the county and the equipment being used is provided through a contracted outside company, she said.

What does the traffic information provide?

“Gathering average daily traffic can help us (ODOT) schedule routine maintenance,” McFarland said. “It also gives us a better understanding of the types of traffic seen at different locations.”

Car driving over traffic study equipment
Gathered information helps ODOT to schedule routine maintenance on roads they maintain.

Through the information gathered, the department is able to differentiate the types of vehicles traveling the road, such as cars, trucks and vehicles pulling trailers.

She said the information also becomes useful when the department is scheduling future projects.

“If we go to do a project, we can use this data versus having to conduct a brand new survey,” she said. “It also helps us determine the best time for our crews to work on the road.”

How long will they be in place?

Certain locations have already had the survey equipment removed, while others still remain in place throughout the county roads.

To get an ample amount of average daily traffic information, the equipment must remain in place for a certain length of time.

“Usually (the equipment) is out for a few weeks,” she said. “This is in order to get a large enough sample size and determine what days and times are most busy.”

To find more information regarding on-going ODOT projects, visit the ODOT Projects section of the department website at transportation.ohio.gov.

Staff reporter at Richland Source since 2023. I focus on the city of Shelby and northern Richland County news. Shelby H.S./Kent State alum. Have a story to share? Email me at hayden@richlandsource.com.