Car stuck in the mud

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A tow truck pulled a car out of a muddy hole after the driver drove into the construction area of Canal Winchester’s Columbus Street

A driver learned it is not wise to ignore road construction closure signs after his red Ford Mustang ended up in a muddy hole on Columbus Street in Canal Winchester.

According to Fairfield County Deputy Sheriff James Nicolia, the car was found stuck in mud half way up the door in the construction area around 1 a.m. on May 8. The driver told a reporting officer he was coming down Liberty Street and did not see the warning sign because he said the sign was allegedly blocked by a parked van.

He drove onto Columbus Street and headed eastbound before turning around and going westbound when he struck a bulldozer and became stuck in the mud. There was no damage to the construction equipment and only slight damage to the Mustang, which had to be towed out of the hole.

"His car only had a tiny scratch," said Nicolia. "He was very lucky. He was only cited for failure to control, but he could have been also cited for driving on a closed roadway. He said he was visiting friends in the area."

The Columbus Street project is a total reconstruction and consists of a new, asphalt paved roadway; curbs and gutters; sidewalks; streetlights; and a new mast arm signal at Columbus and Washington Streets. Parking areas of pervious concrete-in order to save most of the larger street trees-will be installed from High Street to Washington Street.

Estimated cost of the project is more than $1.4 million. A $665,717 grant and $456,000 loan cover the majority of the cost, with the village paying the remainder. According to Public Works Director Matt Peoples, there are 35 properties directly affected by the project. However, the entire community is impacted by the 100 day road closure from Washington to High streets.

Signs are posted warning drivers of the closure, but ignoring them could prove costly, or inconvenient, or both. Peoples said, according to the contract, the section of Columbus Street under reconstruction must be open to two way vehicular traffic and pedestrian traffic by Aug. 18 for the Labor Day Festival.

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